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McIntyre Bay, North Beach, and Rose Spit (BC161)


McIntyre Bay, North Beach, and Rose Spit (BC161)

Masset, British Columbia

Latitude 54.155°N
Longitude 131.710°W
Altitude 0m
Area 364.92km²

Site Description

Rose Spit is a land divide between Dixon Entrance and Hecate Strait. The site includes the beaches of McIntyre Bay and the rocky points of Tow Hill, Yakan Point and Skonun Point and the offshore bars at Rose Spit and Entry Point. The major habitats are sandy beaches (backed by coniferous forest), saltwater bays, estuaries, open saltwater and marine.


This is one of the most important feeding areas for wintering marine birds on Haida Gwaii. Marine birds are the predominant users of this IBA, including important concentrations of Black-legged Kittiwakes, Sooty Shearwaters, Pacific Loon and White-winged Scoter. All migrants go through here twice a year. Globally important numbers of Black Brant occur during spring migration. The beaches support important numbers of migrant shorebirds including Sanderling and Semi-palmated Plover. Black Oystercatchers nest on the rocky areas and Sandhill Cranes, which nest in Naikoon Park, feed in the dunes.

Conservation Issues

A wind farm proposal for the offshore area of this IBA is under review. Oil spills also have the potential to affect bird populations and their habitat. Some of the IBA is partially protected within the eco reserves (Rose Spit, Tow Hill) and a provincial park.

IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status
Pelagic Cormorant
Number Year Season
Semipalmated Plover
Number Year Season
Number Year Season
1,200 - 5,2001985Spring
Number Year Season
Sooty Shearwater
Number Year Season
8,000 - 15,0001985Other
Ancient Murrelet
Number Year Season