Migratory Bird Sanctuaries

Western Sandpipers
Photo: Tom Middleton © Environment and Climate Change Canada. Western Sandpipers.

The first Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBS) designated under the Migratory Birds Convention Act were the Bird Rocks and Bonaventure Island & Percé Rock sanctuaries, established in 1919, in Quebec. However, the first protected area established for the conservation of migratory birds in Canada was Last Mountain Lake in 1887, in southern Saskatchewan, a refuge for birds that later became a Migratory Bird Sanctuary (in 1921) as well as a National Wildlife Area (in 1994).

At present, there are 92 MBS across Canada, comprising almost 11.5 million hectares of migratory bird habitat that provides safe refuge for migratory birds in the terrestrial and marine environment. The Canadian Wildlife Service of Environment Canada is the agency responsible for MBS, although the sanctuaries can be located on federal, provincial or private land.

MBS are listed under the Schedule in the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations, which prescribe rules and prohibitions regarding the taking, injuring, destruction or molestation of migratory birds or their nests or eggs in the sanctuaries. Hunting of listed species under the Act is not permitted in any Migratory Bird Sanctuary.

For more information on the designation and management of MBS, consult the Selection Criteria and Management and Activities sections. For legislation and policies, consult the Reference Documents section.

Migratory Bird Sanctuaries by province



NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Inglewood MBS1968111
Red Deer MBS1924129
Richardson Lake MBS194910,798
Saskatoon Lake MBS19481,150
British Columbia
NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Christie Islet MBS19621
Victoria Harbour MBS19311,841
George C. Reifel MBS1967376
Nechako River MBS1944183
Shoal Harbour MBS1931143
Vaseux Lake MBS1923353
Esquimalt Lagoon MBS1923134
New Brunswick
NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Grand Manan MBS1931433
Inkerman MBS199816
Machias Seal Island MBS19441,046
Newfoundland and Labrador
NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Shepherd Island MBS1991162
Île aux Canes MBS199118
Terra Nova MBS19671,178
Northwest Territories
NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Anderson River Delta MBS1961118,417
Banks Island No. 1 MBS19612,019,997
Banks Island No. 2 MBS196114,302
Cape Parry MBS1961227
Kendall Island MBS196161,241
Nova Scotia
NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Amherst Point MBS1947432
Big Glace Bay Lake MBS1939393
Port Hebert MBS198095
Kentville MBS1939506
Port Joli MBS1941346
Sable River MBS1941397
Sable Island MBS19773,100
Haley Lake MBS1941313
NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Akimiski Island MBS1941353,421
Bylot Island MBS19651,282,731
Dewey Soper MBS1957816,599
East Bay MBS1959112,811
Harry Gibbons MBS1959143,811
McConnell River MBS196036,803
Prince Leopold Island MBS199230,399
Queen Maud Gulf MBS19616,292,818
Seymour Island MBS19755,302
NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Beckett Creek MBS1969179
Chantry Island MBS195764
Eleanor Island MBS19710.78
Hannah Bay MBS193919,119
Mississippi Lake MBS1959300
Moose River MBS19582,690
Rideau MBS1957754
St. Joseph's Island MBS1951891
Upper Canada MBS19612,572
Prince Edward Island
NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Black Pond MBS1936130
NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Basin and Middle Lakes MBS19254,638
Duncairn Reservoir MBS19481,615
Indian Head MBS192432
Last Mountain Lake MBS18874,843
Lenore Lake MBS19257,481
Murray Lake MBS19481,589
Neely Lake MBS1952346
Old Wives Lake MBS192532,391
Opuntia Lake MBS19521,391
Redberry Lake MBS19255,271
Scent Grass Lake MBS1948647
Sutherland MBS1924130
Upper Rousay Lake MBS1948364
Val Marie Reservoir MBS1948431
Wascana Lake MBS1956117

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