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Location Canada, Nova Scotia
Central coordinates 64o 16.77' West  45o 46.86' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 20,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description Chignecto Bay, the western arm of the upper Bay of Fundy divides in two main branches: i) Shepody Bay on the western side and ii) the Cumberland Basin on the eastern side. Therefore, this portion of the Bay of Fundy has one portion in New Brunswick (Shepody) and the other in Nova Scotia (Cumberland). The Upper Cumberland is the part of this long narrow basin that loops north of the Elysian Fields and then winds in a southeasterly direction to Amherst Point and the mouth of the Maccan River. Directly west of Amherst Point, across the basin, is the community and mudflats of Minudie. Vast areas of mud and sand flats, and salt marshes are exposed at low tide the tides of the Bay of Fundy are the highest in the world (up to 16 m). The rich red-brown mud harbors millions of mud shrimp (Corophium volutator), a vital food source for many shorebirds.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla passage  1994  50,000 individuals  A4i  Near Threatened 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Chignecto Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 1,020 protected area overlaps with site 400  
Chignecto-John Lusby Marsh National Wildlife Area 589 protected area overlaps with site 400  
Joggins Fossil Cliffs Operational Parks and Reserves 0 protected area contained by site 1  
Joggins Fossil Cliffs Special Places Act 5 protected area contained by site 5  
John Lusby National Wildlife Area 1,200 protected area overlaps with site 390  
Lower Cove Protected Beach 23 protected area contained by site 25  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Temperate mixed woods  3%
Wetlands (inland) Estuarine waters; Freshwater marshes/swamps; Intertidal mud, sand or salt flats; Salt/brackish marshes  97%

Land use

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Upper Cumberland Basin. Downloaded from on 24/09/2014

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