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Location Canada, Ontario
Central coordinates 79o 50.14' West  51o 12.35' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 20,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description Hannah Bay is located in the extreme southern end of James Bay, just west of the Ontario-Quebec border. The largest river, the Harricanaw, empties into the bay from the south, as does the Kesagami, which joins the Harricana at its mouth. A third major river, the Missisicabi, empties into the extreme northeastern corner of the site. The silt deposited by these rivers has created extensive shoals that extend as far as seven to eight km from the high tide line. At low tide, the bay becomes a tidal flat that is as much as 15 km wide. These tidal flats are largely composed of hard-packed silts and clays, and the water in the bay is turbid and brackish. Hannah Bay has among the widest expanses of marshes (approximately 1.5 km in width) along the James Bay coast. The shoreline of the bay is characterized by meadows of rush and sedge, with small ponds and marshy areas being located between the elevated beach ridges along the shoreline.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Snow Goose Anser caerulescens passage  1975  300,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Brent Goose Branta bernicla passage  1975  100,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  1975  100,000-499,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand or salt flats; Salt/brackish marshes  -
Sea Open sea  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
hunting major

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Hannah Bay. Downloaded from on 16/09/2014

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