Terra Nova Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Male Common Goldeneye
Photo: © Thinkstockphotos.ca. Male Common Goldeneye.

Terra Nova Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) is situated in the Bonavista Bay region of northeastern Newfoundland, adjacent to Terra Nova National Park. The sanctuary consists of the upper portions of two tidal inlets that are nearly totally enclosed by lands within the Terra Nova National Park. The northern portion consists of Broad Cove and Southwest Arm, which are separated by a causeway and bridge. The other section is the most westerly portion of Newman Sound. The areas are relatively shallow tidal inlets with intertidal flats in their upper reaches, the largest being the Big Brook Tidal Flats at the head of Newman Sound. The two bodies of water form part of the northeastern shoreline of Terra Nova National Park. The shoreline is characterized by small gravel beaches or pockets of large rounded boulders and, in places, cliffs steeply rising to the adjoining wooded upland. The two inlets are rich marine environments, with Newman Sound being recommended as an ecological reserve under the International Biological Program.

Importance of the Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Nearly half of the birds on the list of species recorded at Terra Nova National Park have been observed in or over the Terra Nova MBS. The main species groups are shorebirds, waterfowl and seabirds. A few hundred Canada Geese, American Black Ducks, Common Goldeneye and mergansers use the sanctuary during fall migration, and shorebirds frequent the tidal flats during summer and early fall. While the overall numbers of migratory birds using the site are not large, the number of species is impressive. Around 30 species are recorded regularly within Newman Sound and Southwest Arm.

The actual sanctuary portion of the Southwest Arm freezes during the winter months, which precludes the sanctuary from being an important overwintering area for many of the wintering waterfowl in the area. Newman Sound, by contrast, is an important area for waterfowl species throughout the year.

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.

Public access to Terra Nova MBS is not restricted. The standard prohibitions under the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations apply to this site: 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.

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 Terra Nova Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Long description for the Map

Map showing the location of Terra Nova Migratory Bird Sanctuary in relation to Newfoundland, Traytown, Broad Cove and Bonavista Bay. The map shows the boundaries of the sanctuary, which is separated into two areas. One section follows the shorelines and encompasses a portion of Bonavista Bay, while the second section follows the shorelines and encompasses a portion of Broad Cove. The scale of the map is in kilometers.

This map is for illustrative purposes only and should not be used to define legal boundaries. Terra Nova 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 Terra Nova Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Category Information
Protected Area designation Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Province or territory Newfoundland and Labrador
Latitude/longitude 48°34' N, 53°57' W (Inner Newman Sound); 48°38' N, 53°56' W (Southwest Arm)
Size in hectares (ha) 1178 ha
Date created (Gazetted) 1967
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) management category II - National Park
Additional designations None recorded
Main habitat type Open water (91%), tidal flats (9%)
Key bird species Canada Goose, American Black Duck, Common Goldeneye and Common Merganser
Listed species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) None
Management agency Canadian Wildlife Service, Atlantic Region
Landowner Province of Newfoundland and Labrador

Contact Information

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Atlantic Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas Program
17 Waterfowl Lane
Sackville NB E4L 1G6
Toll Free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
Email: ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Privacy statement

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: