Black Pond Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Black Pond: landscape
Photo: © Environment and Climate Change Canada. Black Pond: landscape.

Black Pond Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) is situated along Highway 16, 5 km east of the town of Souris, Prince Edward Island. This 130-ha site is an exceptional example of a barrier-beach pond ecosystem. A sand beach 1 km wide separates the 50-ha pond from the sea. Black Pond itself is a shallow freshwater lake filled with dense beds of pondweed and bordered by spike rushes and scattered stands of cattail and bulrushes. The surrounding countryside is lowland with small white spruce woodlots and agricultural fields.

Importance of the Migratory Bird Sanctuary

This vegetation complex provides one of the most important waterfowl production and migration habitats in eastern Prince Edward Island. Nesting waterfowl species include American Black Duck, American Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal and Ring-necked Duck. During migration, the MBS is a major waterfowl concentration area, with flocks of ducks numbering at any one time from several hundred to about a thousand individuals.

Large flocks of Blue-winged Teal and lesser numbers of Northern Pintail and American Wigeon use the MBS in September but generally migrate by early October. Flocks of American Green-winged Teal and Ring-necked Duck stay well into November, while flocks of American Black Duck numbering from 400 to 600 stay until Black Pond freezes over in mid-December. Small flocks of Canada Geese and Brant are commonly observed in the sanctuary during spring migration. During late fall and winter, an area of open water along the main inlet of Black Pond is frequented by a small number of Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead and Common Merganser.

Access and Activities

MBSs are established for the protection and conservation of migratory birds. Activities that could harm migratory birds, their nests or their eggs are prohibited.

MBSs can be and have been established on private, provincial, territorial and federally owned lands. Access to each MBS varies by site and is at the discretion of the landowner and land manager.

Where MBSs are located on federal land, Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the management and protection of migratory birds, nests, eggs and habitat. Where MBSs are located on provincial land, Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the protection of migratory birds and their nests, while the chief game officer of the province is responsible for the management of habitat. Where MBSs are located on private or municipal land, Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the protection of migratory birds and their nests. Habitat management is the responsibility of the landowner.

The standard prohibitions under the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations apply to Black Pond MBS: hunting migratory birds is prohibited, and no person shall disturb, destroy or take the nest of a migratory bird or have in his or her possession a live migratory bird, or a carcass, skin, nest or egg of a migratory bird, except under the authority of a permit issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada or unless authorized by the Regulations. Possession of firearms or other hunting appliances is prohibited. Dogs and cats must not be allowed to run at large.

Access prohibitions or restrictions by the MBS landowners (private) may also apply.

For more information on entry, activities and permits in MBSs, please visit the Management and Activities section of the Migratory Bird Sanctuaries website. For more information on Environment and Climate Change Canada's protected areas, please contact the regional office.

For greater certainty, nothing in this document shall be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from the protection provided for existing Aboriginal or treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada by the recognition and affirmation of those rights in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Map of the Area

  • Map of Black Pond Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Long description for the Map

Map showing the location of Black Pond Migratory Bird Sanctuary relative to Prince Edward Island, the Northumberland Strait and Little Harbour. The map shows the boundaries of the sanctuary, which follow a portion of the Little Harbour shoreline and extend inland. The scale of the map is in tenths of a kilometer.

This map is for illustrative purposes only and should not be used to define legal boundaries. Black Pond MBS can also be viewed using Google Maps. Please note that the Google map is a complementary source of information and does not represent the official map or site name.

Summary Table

Summary Table for Black Pond Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Category Information
Protected Area designation Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Province or territory Prince Edward Island
Latitude/longitude 46°22' N, 62°10' W
Size in hectares (ha) 130 ha
Date created (Gazetted) 1936
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) management category N/A
Additional designations None
Main habitat type Sand dunes (31%), beach (5%), open water and marsh (20%), spruce forest (29%), open fields (14%), residential (1%)
Key bird species American Black Duck, American Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Common Goldeneye, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, Canada Goose, Brant, Bufflehead and Common Merganser
Listed species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) None
Management agency Canadian Wildlife Service, Atlantic Region
Landowners Private

Contact Information

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Prairie and Northern Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas and Stewardship
Eastgate Offices
9250 - 49th Street
Edmonton, Alberta
T6B 1K5
Toll Free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
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