Migratory bird sanctuaries across Canada

Western Sandpipers
Photo: Tom Middleton © Environment and Climate Change Canada. Western Sandpipers.

The first Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBS) designated under the Migratory Birds Convention Act were the Bird Rocks and Bonaventure Island & Percé Rock sanctuaries, established in 1919, in Quebec. However, the first protected area established for the conservation of migratory birds in Canada was Last Mountain Lake in 1887, in southern Saskatchewan, a refuge for birds that later became a Migratory Bird Sanctuary (in 1921) as well as a National Wildlife Area (in 1994).

At present, there are 92 MBS across Canada, comprising almost 11.5 million hectares of migratory bird habitat that provides safe refuge for migratory birds in the terrestrial and marine environment. The Canadian Wildlife Service of Environment Canada is the agency responsible for MBS, although the sanctuaries can be located on federal, provincial or private land.

MBS are listed under the Schedule in the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations, which prescribe rules and prohibitions regarding the taking, injuring, destruction or molestation of migratory birds or their nests or eggs in the sanctuaries. Hunting of listed species under the Act is not permitted in any Migratory Bird Sanctuary.

For more information on the designation and management of MBS, consult the Selection Criteria and Management and Activities sections. For legislation and policies, consult the Reference Documents section.

Alberta
Name Year established Size in hectares
Inglewood MBS 1968 111
Red Deer MBS 1924 129
Richardson Lake MBS 1949 10,798
Saskatoon Lake MBS 1948 1,150
British Columbia
Name Year established Size in hectares
Christie Islet MBS 1962 1
Victoria Harbour MBS 1931 1,841
George C. Reifel MBS 1967 376
Nechako River MBS 1944 183
Shoal Harbour MBS 1931 143
Vaseux Lake MBS 1923 559
Esquimalt Lagoon MBS 1923 134
New Brunswick
Name Year established Size in hectares
Grand Manan MBS 1931 433
Inkerman MBS 1998 16
Machias Seal Island MBS 1944 1,046
Newfoundland and Labrador
Name Year established Size in hectares
Shepherd Island MBS 1991 18
Île aux Canes MBS 1991 162
Terra Nova MBS 1967 1,178
Northwest Territories
Name Year established Size in hectares
Anderson River Delta MBS 1961 118,417
Banks Island No. 1 MBS 1961 2,019,997
Banks Island No. 2 MBS 1961 14,302
Cape Parry MBS 1961 227
Kendall Island MBS 1961 61,241
Nova Scotia
Name Year established Size in hectares
Amherst Point MBS 1947 432
Big Glace Bay Lake MBS 1939 393
Port Hebert MBS 1980 346
Kentville MBS 1939 506
Port Joli MBS 1941 346
Sable River MBS 1941 397
Sable Island MBS 1977 3,100
Haley Lake MBS 1941 313
Nunavut
Name Year established Size in hectares
Akimiski Island MBS 1941 353,421
Bylot Island MBS 1965 1,282,731
Dewey Soper MBS 1957 816,599
East Bay MBS 1959 112,811
Harry Gibbons MBS 1959 143,811
McConnell River MBS 1960 36,803
Prince Leopold Island MBS 1992 30,399
Queen Maud Gulf MBS 1961 6,292,818
Seymour Island MBS 1975 5,302
Ontario
Name Year established Size in hectares
Beckett Creek MBS 1969 179
Chantry Island MBS 1957 64
Eleanor Island MBS 1971 0.78
Hannah Bay MBS 1939 19,119
Mississippi Lake MBS 1959 300
Moose River MBS 1958 2,690
Rideau MBS 1957 754
St. Joseph's Island MBS 1951 891
Upper Canada MBS 1961 2,572
Prince Edward Island
Name Year established Size in hectares
Black Pond MBS 1936 130
Quebec
Name Year established Size in hectares
Brador Bay MBS 1925 575
Baie des Loups MBS 1925 3,655
Betchouane MBS 1925 498
Boatswain Bay MBS 1941 15,690
Cap-Saint-Ignace MBS 1972 131
Gros Mécatina MBS 1996 2,196
Île à la Brume MBS 1925 3,836
Île aux Basques MBS 1927 846
Île aux Hérons MBS 1937 630
Bonaventure Island and Percé Rock MBS 1919 1,373
Carillon Island MBS 1937 454
Couvée Islands MBS 1986 15
Corossol Island MBS 1937 369
Philipsburg MBS 1972 525
Îles Sainte-Marie MBS 1925 4,030
L'Islet MBS 1986 59
L'Isle-Verte MBS 1986 379
Montmagny MBS 1986 122
Mont Saint-Hilaire MBS 1960 984
Nicolet MBS 1982 2,939
Îles de la Paix MBS 1955 1,089
Bird Rocks MBS 1919 653
Saint-Augustin MBS 1925 5,443
Saint-Omer MBS 1986 56
Saint-Vallier MBS 1986 358
Senneville MBS 1936 554
Trois-Saumons MBS 1986 157
Watshishou MBS 1925 10,806
Saskatchewan
Name Year established Size in hectares
Basin and Middle Lakes MBS 1925 4,638
Duncairn Reservoir MBS 1948 1,615
Indian Head MBS 1924 32
Last Mountain Lake MBS 1887 4,843
Lenore Lake MBS 1925 7,481
Murray Lake MBS 1948 1,589
Neely Lake MBS 1952 346
Old Wives Lake MBS 1925 32,391
Opuntia Lake MBS 1952 1,391
Redberry Lake MBS 1925 5,271
Scent Grass Lake MBS 1948 647
Sutherland MBS 1924 130
Upper Rousay Lake MBS 1948 364
Val Marie Reservoir MBS 1948 431
Wascana Lake MBS 1956 117
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