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Location Canada, Ontario
Central coordinates 82o 17.82' West  54o 6.20' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 150,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description This site is located in northeastern Ontario, along the northwestern edge of James Bay. It is defined by wide coastal marshes, both intertidal and supertidal, that form a continuous strip from Ekwan Point northward to just beyond the Lakitusaki River mouth. At the northern end, supertidal marshes extend about 5 km inland, narrowing southward to only about 1 km at the Swan River, and even less near Ekwan Point. Also at the northern end, muddy tidal marshes extend up to 5 km offshore, with submerged shoals extending farther into the bay. These marshes and shallow shoals also narrow somewhat to the south, but still extend 2 3 km into James Bay. Along this stretch of coastline numerous small rivers enter James Bay and provide a source of calcareous freshwater that enriches the marine system. Inland, a beach ridge runs along the coast with a series of older beach ridges meandering through the extensive supertidal marshes.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Snow Goose Anser caerulescens passage  1994  143,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Melanitta nigra non-breeding  1994  37,640 individuals  A4i  Not Recognised 
Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla passage  1995  70,000 individuals  A4i  Near Threatened 
Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos passage  1993  5,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  1993-1995  100,000-499,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Polar Bear Provincial Park 2,355,200 protected area overlaps with site 34,000  
Polar Bear Provincial Park Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 2,408,700 protected area overlaps with site 31,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Rivers; Salt/brackish marshes  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
hunting major

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ekwan to Lakitusaki Shores. Downloaded from on 22/10/2014

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