Mohawk Island National Wildlife Area - Pamphlet

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Mohawk Island National Wildlife Area
Photo: © Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2015. Mohawk Island National Wildlife Area

What makes Mohawk Island NWA so special?

Mohawk Island National Wildlife Area (NWA) is a four-hectare island in Lake Erie, near the mouth of the Grand River in Ontario. Its small but distinctive habitat and isolated location provide a safe area for nesting, loafing and roosting waterbirds.

Historically known as “Gull Island,” Mohawk Island NWA is:

  • an important nesting site for hundreds of Herring Gulls, Ring-billed Gulls, Caspian Terns and Double-crested Cormorants;
  • home to the only Caspian Tern colony in Lake Erie;
  • a stopover site for many species of migratory birds crossing Lake Erie during spring and fall migration, especially waterfowl and shorebirds;
  • part of a long-term study of persistent toxic chemicals and reproductive success in colonial waterbird populations on the Canadian portion of the Great Lakes, coordinated by Environment and Climate Change Canada.

What are Environment and Climate Change Canada Protected Areas?

Environment and Climate Change Canada establishes marine and terrestrial NWAs for the purposes of conservation, research and interpretation. NWAs are established to protect migratory birds, species at risk, and other wildlife and their habitats. NWAs are established under the authority of the Canada Wildlife Act and are, first and foremost, places for wildlife.

Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs) are established under the authority of the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, and provide a refuge for migratory birds in marine and terrestrial environments. The current Protected Areas Network consists of 54 NWAs and 92 MBSs comprising more than 12 million hectares across Canada.

What can I do at Mohawk Island NWA?

Public access is prohibited between April 1 and August 31 to protect colonial waterbirds from disturbance during the nesting season. Public access for day use is allowed only between September 1 and March 31 (outside the breeding season) for activities such as bird-watching, viewing the lighthouse, recreational fishing (no lead sinkers) and swimming. Overnight camping, open fires and hunting are prohibited at all times. Permits are required to conduct research, surveys and monitoring, and must be obtained from the Canadian Wildlife Service.

Who can I contact?

Environment and Climate Change Canada – Ontario
Canadian Wildlife Service
4905 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario M3H 5T4
1-800-668-6767
Email: ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca
Protected Area web site
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