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Pointe aux Rats Musques Heronry (NB027)

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Pointe aux Rats Musques Heronry (NB027)

Inkerman, New Brunswick

Latitude 47.673°N
Longitude 64.795°W
Altitude 0 - 5m
Area 0.39km²

Site Description

Pointe aux Rats Musqués is located on the east shore of northeast New Brunswick, about 20 km southeast of the town of Caraquet and 20 km northeast of the town of Tracadie. Inkerman is located just 2 km west of Pointe aux Rats Musques. The point is mostly mixed forest that extends from the mainland shore into Baie du Pokemouche. The surrounding system of barrier beaches and dunes, which shield several bays and salt marshes from the Atlantic Ocean, has been identified as a separate IBA for the presence of Piping Plovers.

Birds

Pointe aux Rats Musqués contains a large colony of Black-crowned Night-Herons. The colony is currently estimated to contain about 500 pairs, although 250 and 700 pairs were recorded in different years in the early 1980s. This colony is the largest in Maritime Canada and supports about 8% of estimated Canadian Black-crowned Night-Heron population - most other colonies in New Brunswick contain fewer than forty nests. In addition to Black-crowned Night-Herons, the colony also supports several pairs of Great Blue Herons. American Black Duck breed and stage in good numbers in the nearby marshes.

Conservation Issues

In Maritime Canada, Black-crowned Night-Herons are at the northern limit of their range. Although breeding records suggest that these birds have bred in New Brunswick since the late 1800s, they are relative new comers (1977) to Nova Scotia, where it is believed that the species may be expanding its range.

In the past, some hunting in the vicinity has occurred outside the legal hunting season in this area and some Black-crowned Night-Herons have been illegally shot but this has since been stopped by pressure from various sources.

Recently, Pointe aux Rats de Musqués was designated as a Migratory Bird Sanctuary. The heronry is on private land, however, so a Landowner agreement was signed between the Canadian Wildlife Service and the landowner Le Club des naturalistes de la Peninsule acadienne helped in the negotiations.

IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Number Year Season
1,2001997Summer
5001982Summer
1,4001980Summer