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Location Canada, Nova Scotia
Central coordinates 64o 28.58' West  44o 10.48' North
IBA criteria A4i
Area 5,100 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description This site encompasses sections of the southern coast of south-central Nova Scotia between the towns of Bridgewater and Liverpool. The site covers Cap Bay, Crescent, Green Bay, Broad Cove, Cherry Hill and Beach Meadows beaches, which are favoured sites for Piping Plovers. Some of these sandy beaches back onto tidal lagoons, which are dry at low tide. Rocky coastlines with steep headlands are located between the beaches, but most of these areas provide little shelter for wintering birds. These headlands enclose some small, and one large bay. The climate is maritime, and the tides range from 3 to 5 m.

Key Biodiversity This site supports significant numbers of breeding Piping Plovers, which are globally vulnerable and nationally endangered. In 1996, six birds, or just over 1% of the estimated Atlantic Canada population (estimated at 422 adults) were recorded at this site. In 1991, 14 birds, or about 3% of the estimated Atlantic Canada population at that time, were found on this stretch of the south shore.

During fall migration, thousands of shorebirds visit this piece of coastline. Maritimes Shorebird Survey (MSS) volunteers have surveyed Crescent Beach and Cherry Hill Beach since 1975. Volunteers count shorebirds every second weekend during the period of southward migration from late July to late October. MSS fall counts recorded a three-year average (1994,1996,1997) of 2,199 Semipalmated Plovers, which is more than 1% of this species global population. An average of 68 Willets (1994-1997) were recorded by fall MSS counts and 619 Sanderlings were recorded in 1980.

In the spring and fall, thousands of migrating waterfowl visit this site, but the numbers do not reach the national significance threshold of 10,000 birds. The occasional Harlequin Duck from the nationally endangered eastern population winters here.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus passage  1996  2,199 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Cherry Hill Protected Beach 51 protected area overlaps with site 4  
Green Bay Protected Beach 4 protected area contained by site 5  
Long Point Operational Parks and Reserves 0 protected area contained by site 1  
Risser's Beach Provincial Park 92 protected area contained by site 110  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand or salt flats  15%
Sea Open sea; Sea inlets  60%
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  25%

Land use

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: South Shore - East Queens Co. Sector. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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