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Gannet Islands (LB001)


Gannet Islands (LB001)

Grady Harbour, Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador

Latitude 53,934°N
Longitude 56,505°O
Altitude 0 - 50m
Superficie 245,40km²

Description du site

The Gannet Islands are a remote group of seven islands at the mouth of Sandwich Bay. The nearest point on the mainland is Cape North, approximately 17 km away. Six of the islands, the Gannet Clusters, are located in close proximity to one another. The seventh island, Outer Gannet, is located approximately seven km to the north. All of the islands are low lying and rocky. The vegetation is dominated by dwarf heath scrub with sedges, and grasses characteristic of the tundra may also be present.


The site hosts significant breeding populations of Razorbills, Atlantic Puffins and Common Murres. The largest Razorbill colony in eastern North America occurs here, with approximately 5,400 pairs being present (over 14% of the eastern North America population). Large populations of Atlantic Puffins (about 50,000 pairs - approximately 13% of the eastern North America population) and Common Murre (about 63,000 pairs - approximately 11% of the eastern North America population) are also present. There is some evidence that the populations of both Common and Thick-billed Murres have increased at the Gannet Islands. In the early 1950s, 11,650 pairs of Common Murres and 315 pairs of Thick-billed Murres were recorded. Other seabird species breeding on the islands include Thick-billed Murre, Black Guillemot, Northern Fulmar, Black-legged Kittiwake, Great Black-backed Gull and Leach's Storm-Petrel. Northern Gannets, ironically, do not breed on Gannet Island; the islands were named after a British Admiralty survey ship - HMA Gannet.

The Gannet Islands support breeding populations of all the auk species occurring in eastern Canada, including the most southerly colony of a substantial number of Thick-billed Murres (964 pairs on the Gannet Clusters, and 441 pairs on Outer Gannet Island). Large flocks of molting Harlequin Ducks (70 to 150) from the eastern population (nationally endangered) are also present around the islands in summer.

Enjeux de conservation

The islands are protected as a provincial ecological reserve. Although disturbance is a concern with most seabird colonies, the remoteness of these islands makes this threat minimal.

Catégories ZICO Habitats Usages Menaces Potencielles ou Existantes Status de Protection
Macareux moine
Nombre Année Saison
10 0002018Été
99 4101983Été
78 7001975Été
Petit Pingouin
Nombre Année Saison
10 0002018Été
10 8001983Été
12 8401975Été
Guillemot marmette
Nombre Année Saison
126 1741983Été
93 2001975Été
23 3001952Été
Arlequin plongeur
Nombre Année Saison