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Location Canada, Newfoundland
Central coordinates 53o 10.15' West  49o 46.26' North
IBA criteria A4ii, A4iii
Area 14,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 14m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description Funk island is located approximately 60 km northeast of Cape Freels, off the northeastern coast of Newfoundland. The granitic island is generally flat although there are some low cliffs and boulder-strewn areas. The island is characterized mostly by bare rock, which is washed over by the sea in the fall and winter. One small area supports grassy turf, lichens and mosses. This meadow has grown up on soil formed by the rotting carcasses of Great Auks, which were exterminated at the beginning of the 19th century. Around the island, the cold productive waters of the Labrador Current support an abundance of zooplankton and fishes.

Key Biodiversity Funk Island supports a globally significant population of Common Murre during the breeding season. The breeding colony, whose size has been estimated at 396,000 breeding pairs, is the largest in Canada. Approximately 4% of the global population and as much as 67% of the eastern North American population is present. The island also supports large numbers of breeding Northern Gannets. Approximately 6,000 breeding pairs have been estimated, representing over 2% of the global population and almost 14% of the North American population. Large breeding populations of both these species have been consistently recorded at Funk Island since formal surveys were initiated in the early 1950s. Several other species of seabirds breed on the island including the Atlantic Puffin, Razorbill, Northern Fulmar, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, and the largest, southernmost colony of Thick-billed Murres (~300 pairs).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Gannet Morus bassanus breeding  1985  6,075 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Common Murre Uria aalge breeding  1985  396,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  1985  100,000-499,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Funk Island Ecological Reserve 520 protected area contained by site 9,700  


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

Land use

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Funk Island. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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