Important Areas for Birds in Nunavut

Source document: Important Areas for Birds in Nunavut

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Kivalliq Region

This is a photo of a Snow Goose standing in water.

Map of Nunavut with the Kivalliq region outlined with flags showing where each of the important areas for birds are within this region.


(13) Boas River, Southampton Island

This is a photograph of a Snow Goose landing on the tundra.

Map of Boas River, Southampton Island — Kivalliq Region.

Long description of Map (13) Boas River, Southampton Island

What is important here?

  • Large Lesser Snow Goose colonies
  • Atlantic Brant, Cackling Goose and Tundra Swan
  • Walrus, Beluga Whale, seals, and Polar Bear

Why is it important?

  • Migratory Bird Sanctuary
  • 10% of Canada’s Lesser Snow Goose nest here
  • Nearby polynya frequented year-round by Bowhead Whale and Narwhal

(14) Cape Pembroke, Coats Island

This is a photograph of a Thick-billed Murre standing on the edge of a cliff.

Map of Cape Pembroke, Coats Island — Kivalliq Region.

Long description of Map (14) Cape Pembroke, Coats Island

What is important here?

  • Large Thick-billed Murre colonies
  • Walrus, Polar Bear, Bowhead and Beluga Whale

Why is it important?

  • 2% of Canada’s Thick-billed Murre nest here
  • Longest monitored seabird colony in Arctic Canada
  • Important monitoring site for seabirds and gulls

Special consideration

  • Increased cruise ship tourism could have environmental impacts

(15) Coats Island Lowlands

This is a photograph of a Semipalmated Sandpiper sitting on a chick.

Map of Coats Island Lowlands — Kivalliq Region.

Long description of Map (15) Coats Island Lowlands

What is important here?

  • Extensive wetlands
  • Very high densities of nesting shorebirds

Why is it important?

  • Highest abundance of nesting Semipalmated Sandpiper and Dunlin in the Eastern Arctic
  • Large wetlands that have not been destroyed by Snow Goose

Special consideration

  • If oil and gas exploration is resumed in this area, it may affect the island, its birds and other wildlife

(16) East Bay, Southampton Island

This is a photograph of a Common Eider in flight.

Map of East Bay, Southampton Island — Kivalliq Region.

Long description of Map (16) East Bay, Southampton Island

What is important here?

  • 4500 pairs of nesting Common Eider
  • Large Snow Goose colony
  • Key shorebird breeding site
  • Walrus, Beluga Whale and Polar Bear

Why is it important?

  • Largest colony of Common Eider in Arctic Canada
  • Migratory Bird Sanctuary
  • Important monitoring site for gulls, shorebirds and eiders

(17) McConnell River

This is a close up photograph of a flock of Snow Geese.

Map of McConnell River — Kivalliq Region.

Long description of Map (17) McConnell River

What is important here?

  • Several species of geese nest in the area
  • Caribou winter along the coast
  • Seals, Beluga Whales, and Polar Bear

Why is it important?

  • Migratory Bird Sanctuary
  • Wetland of International Importance (RAMSAR site)

(18) Middle Back River

This is a photograph of a flock of Snow Geese in flight.

Map of Middle Back River — Kivalliq Region

Long description of Map (18) Middle Back River

What is important here?

  • Many geese moult in the area
  • Snow Goose nesting colonies
  • Caribou calving grounds along southern boundary

Why is it important?

  • Borders the Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Designated an Important Bird Area

Special consideration

  • Considerable diamond and mineral exploration activity occurring

(19) Middle Quoich River

This is a photograph of a Canada Goose in flight.

Map of the Middle Quoich River — Kivalliq Region.

Long description of Map (19) Middle Quoich River

What is important here?

  • Key area for thousands of moulting geese
  • Frequented year-round by caribou

Why is it important?

  • Geese are sensitive to disturbance during their moult because they cannot fly

(20) Thelon River

Pictured here is a nesting Canada Goose.

Map of Thelon River — Kivalliq Region.

Long description of Map (20) Thelon River

What is important here?

  • Key area for thousands of moulting geese
  • Raptor (hawks and falcons) breeding sites
  • Caribou calving grounds along northern boundary

Why is it important?

  • Geese are sensitive to disturbance during their moult because they cannot fly

Special consideration

  • Proposed uranium mine site southeast of Aberdeen Lake

(21) Turton Island

This is a photograph of the Common Eider landing on a body of water.

Map of Turton Island — Kivalliq Region.

Long description of Map (21) Turton Island

What is important here?

  • Large colony of Common Eider
  • Swans, geese, guillemots, gulls and terns

Why is it important?

  • One of the largest Common Eider colonies in the eastern Canadian Arctic
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