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Location Canada, Ontario
Central coordinates 80o 19.79' West  42o 34.86' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 26,000 ha
Altitude 173 - 181m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description The Long Point site includes the Long Point Peninsula, Long Point Inner Bay and the Turkey Point and Big Creek marshes. Extending 32 km into Lake Erie, the Long Point Peninsula is the longest freshwater sandspit in the world. With an area of approximately 105,000 ha, it is constantly changing due to the continuous deposition and erosion of sediments through wind and wave erosion. The peninsula itself is a series of alternating ridges that are separated by ponds and swales. These wetlands and associated sand dunes are the best remaining example of this type of ecosystem in the Great Lakes basin.

Protected from the prevailing south-westerly winds by the sandspit, extensive marshes have formed in its lee or northern side. The Inner Bay (approximately 28,000 ha) encompasses the open water from the Big Creek marshes in the west to an imaginary line drawn from Turkey Point to Pottahawk Point in the east. The northern and western shores are fringed by shallow marshes, with the extensive marshes of Turkey Point in the northeast corner and those of Long Point to the south and west. The moderating effect of Lake Erie, combined with the southern geographic location of Long Point, allows a number of plants and animals to survive here at the northern fringe of their North American range.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus passage  1998  9,544 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
American Black Duck Anas rubripes passage  1995  7,650 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Canvasback Aythya valisineria passage  1998  51,766 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator passage  1998  2,970 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Bonaparte's Gull Larus philadelphia passage  1995  20,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  1992-1998  2,500,000-4,999,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Long Point National Wildlife Area 3,250 protected area contained by site 140  
Long Point Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 13,730 protected area overlaps with site 12,000  
Turkey Point Wilderness Area 21 protected area overlaps with site 9  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Temperate coniferous forest; Temperate deciduous woods; Temperate mixed woods  -
Savanna Savanna  -
Grassland Edaphic grassland  -
Wetlands (inland) Freshwater marshes/swamps; Sand dunes and beaches  -
Unknown   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
hunting -
not utilised -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Long Point Peninsula and Marshes. Downloaded from on 18/09/2014

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