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Location Canada, Ontario
Central coordinates 76o 25.79' West  44o 9.06' North
IBA criteria A4i
Area 23,000 ha
Altitude 75 - 80m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description Wolfe Island lies at the extreme northeast corner of Lake Ontario, where the waters of the lake flow into the St. Lawrence River. It is about 3 km south of Kingston, Ontario, and about 3 km north of Cape Vincent in New York state. Wolfe Island is divided into two by Bayfield Bay, with the largest landmass to the west and a long narrow extension on the eastern side. It is the western section that is most productive for land birds. In this habitat, vole (Microtus) populations occur at higher densities than in areas within the nearby mainland. The island is fairly flat, and it consists mainly of farmland interspersed with woodlots and areas of marsh. A network of gravel roads criss-crosses the island. The shoreline is deeply indented, with numerous secluded bays that contain sand and gravel beaches as well as offshore bars. The largest town, Marysville, lies along the northwest coast of the island.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Canvasback Aythya valisineria passage  1995  7,500 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Greater Scaup Aythya marila passage  1996  15,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Temperate mixed woods  10%
Shrubland Scrub  10%
Wetlands (inland) Freshwater lakes and pools; Freshwater marshes/swamps  -
Artificial - terrestrial Abandoned or fallow farmland, disturbed ground; Arable land; Perennial crops, orchards, groves; Urban and industrial areas; Urban parks and gardens  70%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture major
nature conservation and research minor
rangeland/pastureland major
tourism/recreation major

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Wolfe Island. Downloaded from on 24/10/2014

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