Akpait National Wildlife Area pamphlet

Akpait NWA
Photo: © Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2015. Akpait National Wildlife Area

What makes Akpait NWA so special?

Akpait National Wildlife Area (NWA) was designated in 2010. Situated on the northeastern tip of the Cumberland Peninsula of Baffin Island in Nunavut, the 792-km² NWA protects key marine habitat for colonial seabirds and marine mammals. The smaller, terrestrial portion (48 km²) is located on a promontory overlooking Akpait Fiord, and consists of rock pinnacles, ridges and steep cliffs rising 915 metres above sea level, bordered by a high talus slope and beach.

Akpait NWA:

  • supports one of Canada’s largest Thick-billed Murre colonies (Akpait is the Inuktitut word for murres) estimated at 133,000 pairs or about 10% of the Canadian population;
  • provides breeding sites for at least 20,000 Northern Fulmars and over a thousand pairs of Black-legged Kittiwakes, in addition to Glaucous Gulls and Black Guillemots;
  • provides habitat for marine mammals such as the Polar Bear, Walrus and several seal species;
  • contributes to the Reid Bay Important Bird Area.

Akpait NWA is managed by Environment and Climate Change Canada in partnership with the Sululiit Area Co-management Committee of Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut.

What are Environment and Climate Change Canada Protected Areas?

Environment and Climate Change Canada establishes marine and terrestrial NWAs for the purposes of conservation, research and interpretation. NWAs are established to protect migratory birds, species at risk, and other wildlife and their habitats. NWAs are established under the authority of the Canada Wildlife Act and are, first and foremost, places for wildlife.

Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs) are established under the authority of the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, and provide a refuge for migratory birds in marine and terrestrial environments. The current Protected Areas Network consists of 54 NWAs and 92 MBSs comprising more than 12 million hectares across Canada.

What can I do at Akpait NWA?

In the Nunavut territory, Nunavut beneficiaries, as per the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, can harvest wildlife for their economic, social and cultural needs. Access to Akpait NWA is restricted except for Nunavut beneficiaries. For all non-beneficiaries, a permit must be obtained to either access or conduct any type of activity in the NWA. More information on access and permitting for Akpait NWA can be obtained by contacting the Environment and Climate Change Canada regional office.

Canada Map
Long description of the map

Location of the NWA on an illustrated map of Canada. The NWA location is indicated by a general annotation in the province of Nunavut.

Who can I contact?

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Pacific and Yukon Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 1714
Iqaluit, Nunavut X0A 0H0
Email: ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca
Protected Area web site
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