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Location Canada, Ontario
Central coordinates 82o 7.04' West  53o 8.83' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 91,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description Akimiski Strait is located in James Bay between the Ontario mainland and Akimiski Island. It is approximately 15 to 20 km wide and stretches from Ekwan Point in the north to the mouth of the Kapiskau River in the south. Within the strait, the water is relatively shallow and there are numerous submerged shoals and small gravelly islands mostly concentrated from the western tip of Akimiski northward. The largest islands have some deciduous scrub and stunted trees, while vegetation on the smaller islands is restricted to sparse grasses and other herbaceous plants. Supertidal coastal marshes extend inland along the Ontario shore for a km or more. The main freshwater discharge is the Attawapiskat River, which is located approximately near the centre of this strait. At this location, intertidal marshes and shoals extending offshore for at least 5 km. During the winter, a polynya (an ice-free area caused by currents and upwellings) is located within the strait.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Brent Goose Branta bernicla passage  1994  8,700 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds non-breeding  1994  20,000-49,999 individuals  poor  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: Akimiski Strait. Downloaded from on 16/09/2014

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