email a friend
printable version
Location Canada, Québec
Central coordinates 64o 56.00' West  48o 8.95' North
IBA criteria A4i
Area 14,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 90m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description The Shigawake-Newport site is a 40 km strip of coast, on the north shore of Baié des Chaleur, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, between Shigawake and Newport. The site includes the offshore water in a one-kilometre strip, and a section of inland habitat that is approximately 300 meters wide. At Port-Daniel Bay the site extends further inland (3 km) to include a small sandbar. The Mahy Islands, a small group of low rocky islands, are located in Port-Daniel Bay.

The coastal habitat consists of a series of small bays, cliffs and rocky points, while inland habitat is comprised of mainly shrubby areas, forests and fields. On the sandbar, there is a grassy area with large patches of Eelgrass nearby.

Key Biodiversity Shigawake-Newport is notable for its spring season seaducks and the presence of the nationally endangered eastern Harlequin Duck, which is present in all ice-free seasons. A three-year average of 156 birds (1989,1998,1999) has been recorded during spring migration. This is 13% of the eastern population of Harlequin Duck. During fall migration, over the same three years, an average of 56 birds has been recorded. Smaller numbers of moulting birds are present in July. The adjacent Pot-Daniel River is thought to be a breeding location for this species.

Groups of diving ducks - Common Eider and Surf, Black, and White-winged scoters - occur in nationally significant numbers (10,000-12,000) in the spring. Small numbers of Barrow’s Goldeneye’s are also sometimes seen.

Several seabird colonies are scattered along the coast. Eight colonies with a cumulative total of 5,539 pairs of birds were recorded in 1989. A total of 1,431 Herring Gull pairs were found in 1989; this is more than 1% of this species’ North American population. Historically, Herring Gulls nested in much higher numbers - 3,360 pairs nested on the Mahy Islands alone in 1976. The Great Black-backed Gull, also nested in this site in large numbers in 1989, with 453 pairs (over 1% of the global population) recorded.

Other species nesting within the Shigawake-Newport site include Black Guillemot (230 pairs in 1989), Double-crested Cormorant (804 pairs in 1989) and Black-legged Kittiwake (559 pairs in 1989).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Larus argentatus breeding  1989  1,431 breeding pairs  A4i  Not Recognised 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Anse à Fullum Faunal Habitat 21 protected area contained by site 21  
Anse a Fullum Wildlife Habitat, Waterfowl Gathering Area 23 protected area contained by site 23  
Cap-Rouge 19-05-09 Wildlife Habitat, Waterfowl Gathering Area 654 protected area contained by site 670  
Les Ilots (anc. Iles Mahy) Faunal Habitat 9 protected area contained by site 9  
Marais de la Baie de Port-Daniel Faunal Habitat 37 protected area contained by site 37  
Petite Rivière Port-Daniel Salmon River - Quebec 310 protected area overlaps with site 8  
Port-Daniel Salmon River - Quebec 314 protected area overlaps with site 6  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Temperate coniferous forest  2%
Shrubland Scrub  1%
Wetlands (inland) Estuarine waters; Salt/brackish marshes; Sand dunes and beaches  2%
Sea Open sea  89%
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  3%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Urban parks and gardens  2%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture minor
nature conservation and research minor
fisheries/aquaculture minor
tourism/recreation minor
urban/industrial/transport minor

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Shigawake-Newport. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife