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Location Canada, Manitoba
Central coordinates 97o 57.48' West  52o 57.41' North
IBA criteria A4i
Area 100 ha
Altitude 714 m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description Little George Island is located in the northern basin of Lake Winnipeg, about 40 km southwest of the Poplar River First Nation. It is a remote island that is only 12 ha in size. A lagoon is located in its middle, and a sandy point extends to the northwest of the island. This sandy point is utilized as a nesting site by the terns.

Key Biodiversity Little George Island supports a significant colony of nesting Common and Caspian Terns. Over the past 25 years, an estimated 1,000 to 1,800 Common Tern nests, and 500 to 1,120 Caspian Tern nests have been recorded in a single year. For Common Terns, this would represent at least 2.5% of their estimated North American population, and for Caspian Terns this would represent at least 1.5% of their estimated North American population. Numbers of Caspian Terns at this site have fluctuated quite dramatically. As many as 3,800 pairs were recorded in 1992, but it is now thought that many have moved to a new colony on the Long Point sandspit to the northwest. Caspian Terns were listed as nationally vulnerable species from 1978 to April 1999. Recovering populations, however, prompted the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada to remove the species from the list of concern. Other species nesting on the island include Herring Gull (50 nests 1986), Ring-billed Gull (3,000 to 4,000 pairs) and Double-crested Cormorant (60 nests 1986). In addition, Greater Scaup also regularly nest on the island with as many as 12 nests being found in a single day. This is by far the most southerly documented breeding site for Greater Scaup in Manitoba.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia breeding  1992  3,800 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Temperate deciduous woods  -
Shrubland Scrub  -
Wetlands (inland) Freshwater lakes and pools; Intertidal mud, sand or salt flats  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research minor
fisheries/aquaculture major

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Little George Island. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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