|Location||Canada, New Brunswick|
|Central coordinates||64o 31.17' West 45o 49.26' North|
|IBA criteria||A4i, A4iii|
|Altitude||0 - 5m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2008|
Ornithological information The Dorchester Cape and Grand Anse areas are vitally important for roosting and feeding migrant shorebirds. The Semipalmated Sandpiper is by far the most abundant shorebird in the Bay of Fundy during fall migration, with up to 200,000 birds recorded at the roost site during peak migration. This figure accounts for about 5.6% of the world population and is a recent recalculation of estimates made between 1975 to 1983. More recent estimates (1995) show that a similar number of birds continue to use the area today. About 50 and 95% of the worlds population of Semipalmated Sandpipers use this and other IBA sites in the Bay of Fundy at peak of migration in early August.
Dorchester Cape is also extremely important for migrating Dunlin. An estimated 2,027 Dunlin use this part of Shepody Bay, representing almost 1% of the central Canadian breeding population. Significant numbers of Semipalmated Plovers (678) have also been observed, which is more than 1% of their global population. Black-bellied Plovers are one of the only shorebirds that are found at the Bay of Fundy in equally large concentrations during both spring and fall migration, with a maximum count of 807 in the fall of 1994.
Numerous other shorebird species are found at Dorchester Cape, including Short-billed Dowitchers, Least Sandpipers, Red Knots, and White-rumped Sandpipers (in some of the highest numbers in the region, 227 birds). Shorebird flocks move back and forth between Dorchester Cape and Marys Point (Shepody Bay West) to varying degrees depending on the tidal cycle, and thus the highest counts at both sites most likely involve some duplication.
Site description Dorchester Cape is a rocky cape that extends into the bay, and Grand Anse is an area of sand and gravel beaches situated along the eastern coast of Shepody Bay, in eastern New Brunswick. It is adjoined by a large ledge of intertidal mud flats, known as Bucks Flats. Grand Anse is within the town of Johnsons Mills. One of the characteristic features of the shorelines of the Bay of Fundy, such as this, are the macro-tides ranging from 10 15 m, the highest in the world. Low tide exposes vast mud flats at this site, which extend at least 2 km seaward, providing a huge open area for shorebirds to forage for abundant invertebrates. The land adjacent to the flats is poor and infertile and thus does not support agriculture.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus||passage||1994||678 individuals||-||Least Concern|
|Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla||passage||1995||400,000 individuals||-||A4i||Near Threatened|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||passage||1995||-||unknown||A4iii|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Shepody Bay||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||12,200||protected area contains site||5,200|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Wetlands (inland)||Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand or salt flats||80%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||major|
Conservation response Dorchester Cape is included as part of the Shepody Bay and Marys Point Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve; the first reserve declared in Canada under the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) in 1987. Along with Marys Point, Dorchester Cape is designated as a Ramsar site, recognized as a Wetland of International Importance (as of 1982). Shorebird censuses and research have been ongoing since 1976. The Canadian Wildlife Service operates a public viewing centre at the site, to help reduce disturbance of the birds and encourage public support for shorebird conservation. However, a secondary road provides access to the beach for tourists and cottagers, increasing the potential for disturbance of the shorebird habitat.
Nature Conservancy of Canada has protected more than 100 acres to buffer the Semipalmated Sandpiper roosting area at Dorchester Cape. An interpretive centre has also been erected on site, and the centre is staffed during the summer months.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Dorchester Cape and Grand Anse. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/05/2013
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