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Location Canada, Newfoundland
Central coordinates 52o 47.35' West  48o 7.86' North
IBA criteria A4ii, A4iii
Area 4,600 ha
Altitude 0 - 137m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description Baccalieu Island is located 5.5 km off the northern tip of the Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland. It is characterized by rugged topography, with cliffs rising over 100 metres from sea level to a maximum elevation of 137 metres. The vegetation community is dominated by heath, with large areas of grassy turf and patches of old growth black spruce and balsam fir forests.

Key Biodiversity Baccalieu Island hosts a globally significant breeding population of Leachs Storm-Petrel. Approximately 3.4 million breeding pairs have been estimated, which represents approximately 40% of the global population and about 70% of the western Atlantic population of this species. Baccalieu Island supports the largest Leach's Storm-Petrel colony in Canada, the largest known colony in the world.

The island also supports continentally and globally significant populations of Atlantic Puffin (45,000 pairs - approximately 12% of the eastern North America population); Black-legged Kittiwake (~13,000 - approximately 5 to 7% of the western Atlantic breeding population); and Northern Gannet (677 pairs - approximately 1.5% of the North American population). The island has the greatest abundance and species diversity of seabirds in eastern North America. Other seabirds nesting on the island include Common Murre, Thick-billed Murre, Razorbill, Black Guillemot, Northern Fulmar, Herring Gull and Great Black-backed Gull.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Leach's Storm-petrel Hydrobates leucorhous breeding  1984  3,360,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica breeding  1995  45,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Vulnerable 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  1984  2,500,000-4,999,999 breeding pairs  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Baccalieu Island Ecological Reserve 2,300 protected area contained by site 2,200  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Tundra  -
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Baccalieu Island. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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