IBA Site Listing
IBAPrince Leopold Island
Lancaster Sound, Nunavut
Site Summary
NU006Latitude
Longitude
74.031° N
90.067° W
Elevation
Size
0 - 265 m
306.83 km˛
Habitats:
tundra, coastal cliffs/rocky shores (marine)
Land Use:
Nature conservation and research
Potential or ongoing Threats:
Disturbance, Oil slicks
IBA Criteria: Globally Significant: Congregatory Species, Colonial Waterbirds/Seabird Concentrations
Conservation status: Migratory Bird Sanctuary (federal)
Restricted access for IBA coordinators
Login name: Password:

Login



Site Description
Prince Leopold Island is located approximately 13 km off the northeastern tip of Somerset Island at the junction of Prince Regent Inlet and Barrow Strait. The perimeter of the island is characterized by vertical cliffs of sandstone and limestone that rise in elevation 245 to 265 m above sea level. Other topographic features include scree slopes, numerous ledges where the seabirds nest, and gravel spits. The vegetation is sparse and characterized by mosses, lichens, grasses, and a few dwarf shrubs. Several Inuit archaeological sites are located on the island.
Birds
Prince Leopold Island supports a major seabird colony that includes the second largest breeding congregation of Northern Fulmars in Canada. Approximately 20% of the Canadian Northern Fulmar population, as much as 11% of the western Atlantic Black-legged Kittiwake population, over 1% of the north Atlantic Thick-billed Murre population, and over 1% of the global Black Guillemot population are found at Prince Leopold Island. Combined the total number of pairs of seabirds at this colony is almost 200,000 pairs.

Other species known to breed on the island include Atlantic Brant, Common Raven, Common Eider, Parasitic Jaeger, Glaucous Gull, and Snow Bunting. The seabirds generally occupy the site from early May to the end of September.

Summary of bird records available for Prince Leopold Island
Click here to view all records
SpeciesSeasonNumberUnitDate
Black GuillemotBR4,000GP1977
Black-legged KittiwakeBR29,000GP1975
Colonial Waterbirds/SeabirdsBR152,000GP1977
Glaucous GullBR200NP1975
Ivory GullSU
Northern FulmarBR62,000GP1977
Thayer's GullSU
Thick-billed MurreBR86,000GP1977
Note: species shown in bold indicate that their population level (as estimated by the maximum number) exceeds at least one of the IBA thresholds (national, continental or global). The site may still not qualify for that level of IBA if the maximum number reflects an exceptional or historical occurence.
 
Conservation Issues
The entire island is included within the Prince Leopold Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary (federal crown land). It encompasses 311 km˛, which includes a 5 km marine buffer around the island.

Lancaster Sound is subject to a small amount of ship traffic (ore shipments, oil tankers, supply vessels, etc.), mostly during the open water season (August). Commercial shipping through Lancaster Sound could increase markedly depending on the development of mineral deposits in the NWT. Oil spills associated with shipping activities could endanger large numbers of seabirds and pollute their feeding areas.

The Sanctuary is visited annually by small numbers of ecotour groups who arrive by small plane or by ship to view the seabird colony.


The IBA Program is an international conservation initiative coordinated by BirdLife International. The Canadian co-partners for the IBA Program are Bird Studies Canada and Nature Canada.
  
|
© 2000-2014 IBA Canada. All rights reserved.