In Nunavut, approximately 23.4 million hectares (10% of the territory as of 2010) are designated as protected. Environment and Climate Change Canada maintains 16 protected areas in Nunavut, including 5 National Wildlife Areas (NWAs) and 11 Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs), comprising almost 10 million hectares of the territory's protected lands and waters. Of these 11 MBSs, Boatswain Bay and Hannah Bay, both located in James Bay, share boundaries with two provinces. While the marine portion of these sanctuaries is part of Nunavut, their land portions are located in Quebec (for Boatswain Bay MBS) and Ontario (for Hannah Bay MBS). Nunavut is also the location of the largest protected area in Canada – the Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary, which covers, more than 6 million hectares of marine and terrestrial habitat.
Map of Environment and Climate Change Canada's Protected Areas in Nunavut
Long description for the Map
Map showing the number of Environment and Climate Change Canada's protected areas in Nunavut - 16 in total divided among 5 National Wildlife Areas (NWAs) and 11 Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs).
Learn more about Nunavut...
List of Protected Areas in Nunavut
The tables below contain information about the NWAs and MBSs shown on the map above. In addition to the name, year of establishment, and size of each protected area, the tables indicate how these sites fit into national and international networks of conservation areas. The following entities may be noted:
National Wildlife Areas
|NWA Name||Year established||Size in hectares|
|Nirjutiqavvik NWA (Coburg Island)||1995||178,328|
|Polar Bear Pass NWA||1985||263,673|
Migratory Bird Sanctuaries
|MBS Name||Year established||Size in hectares|
|Akimiski Island MBS||1941||353,421|
|Bylot Island MBS||1965||1,282,731|
|Dewey Soper MBS||1957||816,600|
|East Bay MBS||1959||112,826|
|Harry Gibbons MBS||1959||143,812|
|McConnell River MBS||1960||36,803|
|Prince Leopold Island MBS||1992||30,399|
|Queen Maud Gulf MBS||1961||6,292,820|
|Seymour Island MBS||1975||5,302|
Access and Permitting
Although access to NWAs is not restricted, the primary purpose of these areas is to protect and conserve wildlife and their habitats, and therefore most NWAs are not equipped with facilities to accommodate public visitation. Unless otherwise posted, all recreational activities are prohibited within NWAs.
Although access to most MBSs is not restricted either, the primary intent of these sanctuaries is to protect migratory birds, and therefore hunting, as well as disturbing or molesting migratory birds, their eggs, nests or habitat, is prohibited.
A permit may be obtained from the Minister of the Environment authorizing the conduct of certain activities in an NWA or MBS, if the Minister or delegate is of the opinion that the proposed activity:
- will not interfere with the conservation of wildlife; or
- is consistent with the purpose for which the protected area was established; and
- is consistent with the management plan for the protected area.
Additional information on entry, prohibited activities and permits in Environment and Climate Change Canada's protected areas is provided on the Management and Activities web pages of the NWA and MBS. For more information on Environment and Climate Change Canada's protected areas in Nunavut, please contact the regional Environment and Climate Change Canada office:Environment and Climate Change Canada - Prairie and Northern Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas & Stewardship
Eastern Arctic Unit
P. O. Box 1714
Toll Free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
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