Eleanor Island National Wildlife Area pamphlet

Eleanor Island National Wildlife Area
Photo: © Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2015. Eleanor Island National Wildlife Area

What makes Eleanor Island NWA so special?

Eleanor Island National Wildlife Area (NWA) is a small island in southern Lake Muskoka, central Ontario. It is composed of solid granite outcroppings around the perimeter and a mix of deciduous and coniferous forest in the interior. Despite its small size (0.6 hectares), Eleanor Island is

  • one of the few remaining undeveloped islands in Lake Muskoka, providing safe nesting habitat for colonial waterbirds;
  • an important nesting and loafing site for significant numbers of colonial waterbirds, including Herring Gulls, Double-crested Cormorants and Great Blue Herons;
  • home to one of the few Herring Gull and Great Blue Heron nesting colonies in the local area.

Eleanor Island was protected as a municipal bird sanctuary before being transferred to Environment and Climate Change Canada - Canadian Wildlife Service. In 1971, it was designated a Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) to protect colonial nesting waterbirds. In 1978, Eleanor Island was designated an NWA to afford greater protection for colonial nesting waterbirds and their habitat, and to serve as a site for long-term research.

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 close to 12 million hectares across Canada.

What can I do at Eleanor Island NWA?

Public access to Eleanor Island NWA is prohibited to protect colonial nesting waterbirds and other wildlife from disturbance. Permits are required to visit, and to conduct research, surveys and monitoring. For a complete list of NWAs, including those you can visit, please see our website.

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 Ontario.

Who can I contact?

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Ontario
Canadian Wildlife Service
4905 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario M3H 5T4
1-800-668-6767
Email: ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca
Protected Area web site
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