Migratory bird sanctuaries across Canada

Western Sandpipers

 Western Sandpipers. Photo: Tom Middleton

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

Alberta
MBS Name Year established Size in hectares
Inglewood MBS 1929 111
Red Deer MBS 1924 129
Richardson Lake MBS 1949 10,798
Saskatoon Lake MBS 1948 1,150

British Columbia

British Columbia
MBS Name Year established Size in hectares
Christie Islet MBS 1962 1
Victoria Harbour MBS 1923 1,891
George C. Reifel MBS 1967 376
Nechako River MBS 1944 183
Shoal Harbour MBS 1931 146
Vaseux Lake MBS 1923 559
Esquimalt Lagoon MBS 1939 134

New Brunswick

New Brunswick
MBS 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

Newfoundland and Labrador
MBS 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

Northwest Territories
MBS Name Year established Size in hectares
Anderson River Delta MBS 1961 118,402
Banks Island No. 1 MBS 1961 2,019,901
Banks Island No. 2 MBS 1961 14,302
Cape Parry MBS 1961 227
Kendall Island MBS 1961 61,241

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia
Name Year established Size in hectares
Amherst Point MBS 1947 433
Big Glace Bay Lake MBS 1939 393
Port Hebert MBS 1941 346
Kentville MBS 1939 506
Port Joli MBS 1941 397
Sable River MBS 1941 313
Sable Island MBS 1977 3,100
Haley Lake MBS 1980 95

Nunavut

Nunavut
MBS Name Year established Size in hectares
Akimiski Island MBS 1941 353,421
Bylot Island MBS 1965 1,282,731
Dewey Soper (Isulijarnik) MBS 1957 816,599
East Bay (Qaqsauqtuuq) MBS 1959 112,826
Harry Gibbons (Ikkattuaq) MBS 1959 143,811
McConnell River (Kuugaarjuk) MBS 1960 36,803
Prince Leopold Island MBS 1992 30,399
Queen Maud Gulf (Ahiak) MBS 1961 6,292,818
Seymour Island MBS 1975 5,302

Ontario

Ontario
MBS Name Year established Size in hectares
Beckett Creek MBS 1969 184
Chantry Island MBS 1957 19
Eleanor Island MBS 1971 1
Hannah Bay MBS 1939 25,231
Mississippi Lake MBS 1959 300
Moose River MBS 1958 2,690
Rideau River MBS 1957 752
St. Joseph's Island MBS 1951 986
Upper Canada MBS 1961 2,604

Price Edward Island

Prince Edward Island
MBS Name Year established Size in hectares
Black Pond MBS 1936 130

Quebec

Quebec
MBS Name Year established Size in hectares
Baie de Brador MBS 1925 567
Baie des Loups MBS 1925 3,610
Betchouane MBS 1925 492
Boatswain Bay MBS 1941 15,465
Cap-Saint-Ignace MBS 1986 131
Gros Mécatina MBS 1996 2,168
Île à la Brume MBS 1925 3,789
Île aux Basques MBS 1927 840
Île aux Hérons MBS 1937 631
Bonaventure Island and Percé Rock MBS 1919 1,361
Carillon Island MBS 1931 455
Îles de la Couvée MBS 1986 15
Île du Corossol MBS 1937 364
Philipsburg MBS 1955 527
Îles Sainte-Marie MBS 1925 3,980
L'Islet MBS 1986 59
L'Isle-Verte MBS 1986 376
Montmagny MBS 1986 122
Mont Saint-Hilaire MBS 1960 985
Nicolet MBS 1982 2,937
Îles de la Paix MBS 1972 1,092
Bird Rocks MBS 1919 648
Saint-Augustin MBS 1925 5,369
Saint-Omer MBS 1986 56
Saint-Vallier MBS 1986 356
Senneville MBS 1936 555
Trois-Saumons MBS 1986 157
Watshishou MBS 1925 10,673

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan
MBS Name Year established Size in hectares
Basin and Middle Lakes MBS 1925 4,991
Duncairn Reservoir MBS 1948 1,615
Indian Head MBS 1924 32
Last Mountain Lake MBS 1921 4,843
Lenore Lake MBS 1925 10,331
Murray Lake MBS 1948 1,589
Neely Lake MBS 1952 502
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 573
Val Marie Reservoir MBS 1948 431
Wascana Lake MBS 1956 117
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