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Location Canada, Newfoundland
Central coordinates 53o 47.95' West  49o 33.06' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 12,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 20m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description The Wadham Islands are located on the east coast of Newfoundland, approximately 15 km east of Fogo Island and 40 km northwest of Cape Freels. They are comprised of seven main islands and many isolated rocks and shoals within a 120 km2 area. The smaller islands are low and have rocky terrain, while the larger islands are vegetated with grasses and low shrubs. Peckford Island (2,500 ha) is the largest island in the group. The other islands include Green, White, Copper, Duck, James, and Outer Wadham Island.

Key Biodiversity The Wadham Islands contains a large colony of Atlantic Puffins. In total, 15,950 pairs (950 pairs on Green Island and 15,000 pairs on James Island) was recorded during surveys completed in 1984. This represents about 4.3% of the estimated eastern North American population. In addition to the nesting puffins, other seabirds nesting on the Wadham Islands include Leachs Storm-Petrel (10,000 pairs), Razorbills (30 pairs), Black Guillemots (>25 pairs) and Common / Arctic Terns (376 pairs). In all, it is estimated that the seabird colony supports over 26,380 pairs of seabirds.

In 1995, a Canadian Wildlife Service aerial survey recorded approximately 25,000 wintering Common Eiders (as much as 9% of the estimated northern borealis population) along the Wadham Islands to Cape Freels coastline. Within this region, the eiders often shift to different feeding areas, depending on ice conditions and the location of open water.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Common Eider Somateria mollissima winter  1995  25,000 individuals  A4i  Near Threatened 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1995  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  20,000-49,999 breeding pairs  unknown  A4iii   


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Edaphic grassland  30%
Sea Open sea  40%
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  20%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture minor
hunting major

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Wadham Islands and adjacent Marine Area. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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