Brador Bay Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Trumpeter Swans picture
Photo: Jean-François Rail © Environment and Climate Change Canada. Île Greenly within Brador Bay Migratory Bird Sanctuary.

The Brador Bay Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) is located in the northeastern part of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, near the town of Blanc-Sablon. It covers two islands, Île aux Perroquets and Île Greenly, as well as the waters within 500 metres surrounding each island. Île aux Perroquets is located in Anse des Dunes, northwest of Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon. Île Greenly is further offshore, approximately three kilometres southwest of the town. These two relatively flat islands (15 to 19 metres in elevation) are characterized by rocky outcrops with low-lying vegetation.

The 567 hectare MBS was established in 1925 to protect a major seabird nesting site. The sanctuary's key habitats include rocky outcrops and sand deposits, as well as grasses and rare shrubs. The remainder of the site comprises coastal shores and waters.

Importance of the Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Approximately six species of seabirds, three of which belong to the family Alcidae, flock to Île Greenly and Île aux Perroquets during nesting season. Quebec's largest colony of Atlantic Puffins can be found in this MBS. Despite a significant decline in site use by this species (less than 16 000 birds in 2010 compared to more than 62 000 in 1935), the sanctuary now supports nearly two thirds of Quebec's Atlantic Puffin population. Razorbills are the second most populous species in the sanctuary. Although their numbers declined substantially in the 1970s and 80s, they have recovered dramatically in recent decades, peaking at 6300 individuals in 2010.

Common Murres are also found within the site, despite having completely vanished between 1965 and 1993. This species made a tentative reappearance in 1994 (14 birds) and its population grew enormously in the following years. By 2010, the number of Common Murres in the area had increased one hundred fold. Other nesting species are present in smaller numbers, varying from a couple to several hundred birds, depending on the species and the year. These include the Black Guillemot, the Great Black-backed Gull and the Herring Gull. Other species (Black-legged Kittiwake, Common Eider and terns) have nested here, but only on one occasion. Canada's endangered Short-eared Owl is also occasionally seen in the sanctuary.

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 Brador Bay 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 specifically 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 denial or restrictions imposed by the owners of land within the MBS 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 protected areas managed by Environment and Climate Change Canada in Quebec, 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 Brador Bay Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Long description of the map

Map showing the location of Brador Bay Migratory Bird Sanctuary relative to Quebec, Île aux Perroquets, Île-Greenly, La Longue Pointe, Anse des Dunes, Anse Lazy, Baie de Blanc-Sablon and Baie de Brador. The map shows the boundaries of the sanctuary, which covers Île aux Perroquets and Île-Greenly as well as some of the water surrounding each island. 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. Brador Bay Migratory Bird Sanctuary 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 Brador Bay Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Category Information
Protected Area designation Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Province or territory Quebec
Latitude/longitude 51° 22'; 45" N 57° 11' 23" W and 51° 25' 46" N 57° 14' 05" W
Size in hectares (ha) 567 ha
Date created (Gazetted) 1925
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Management Category Ia - Strict Nature Reserve
Additional designations Brador Bay Important Bird Area
Main habitat type Rocky outcrops, marine, grass
Key bird species Atlantic Puffin and Razorbill
Other species Birds: Common Murre, Black Guillemot and Great Black-backed Gull
Listed species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) None
Management agency Canadian Wildlife Service, Quebec Region

Contact Information

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Quebec Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas Unit
801-1550, avenue d'Estimauville
9250 - 49th Street
Québec, Quebec G1J 0C3
Toll Free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
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