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Location Canada, Québec
Central coordinates 63o 42.84' West  50o 15.96' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 1,300 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description Cayes à Meck are three small islets located in the western part of the Mingan archipelago, 1 km off the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Québec. The IBA encompasses the land and water in a two km radius circle which has its centre point in the middle of the largest island. The islets of the Mingan archipelago are comprised of limestone rock, which is extensively quarried in nearby areas. These islets are part of the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve; information and interpretation centers are located in Havre-Saint-Pierre and Longue-Pointe. Mean annual temperature is 1.5°C and mean annual tidal amplitude is approximately 1.5 meters.

Key Biodiversity Many Common Terns, and a small number of Arctic Terns breed at Cayes à Meck. Numbers seem to currently in decline since in 1992, 1,325 pairs were recorded, in 1995 583 pairs were recorded and in 1999 475 pairs were present. The three-year average of 954 pairs is over 1% of the North American population of Common Terns, however a small, unknown proportion of the terns are Arctic Terns. Ring-billed Gulls and Common Eiders also breed on these islets. In 1998, over 200 pairs of gulls and 19 pairs of Common Eiders were recorded. In winter, large flocks of Common Eiders can be found in the waters surrounding the Mingan archipelago.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Common Eider Somateria mollissima winter  1985  60,000 individuals  A4i  Near Threatened 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1985  50,000-99,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Batture de l'Île à Gazon Wildlife Habitat, Waterfowl Gathering Area 653 protected area overlaps with site 350  
Batture Est de la Riviere Romaine Wildlife Habitat, Waterfowl Gathering Area 1,281 protected area overlaps with site 410  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Cayes à Meck. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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