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Baccalieu Island (NF003)


Baccalieu Island (NF003)

Red Head Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador

Latitude 48.131°N
Longitude 52.800°W
Altitude 0 - 137m
Area 45.22km²

Site Description

Baccalieu Island is located 5.5 km off the northern tip of the Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland. It is characterized by rugged topography, with cliffs rising over 100 metres from sea level to a maximum elevation of 137 metres. The vegetation community is dominated by heath, with large areas of grassy turf and patches of old growth black spruce and balsam fir forests.


Baccalieu Island hosts a globally significant breeding population of Leachs Storm-Petrel. Approximately 3.4 million breeding pairs have been estimated, which represents approximately 40% of the global population and about 70% of the western Atlantic population of this species. Baccalieu Island supports the largest Leach's Storm-Petrel colony in Canada, the largest known colony in the world.

The island also supports continentally and globally significant populations of Atlantic Puffin (45,000 pairs - approximately 12% of the eastern North America population); Black-legged Kittiwake (~13,000 - approximately 5 to 7% of the western Atlantic breeding population); and Northern Gannet (677 pairs - approximately 1.5% of the North American population). The island has the greatest abundance and species diversity of seabirds in eastern North America. Other seabirds nesting on the island include Common Murre, Thick-billed Murre, Razorbill, Black Guillemot, Northern Fulmar, Herring Gull and Great Black-backed Gull.

Conservation Issues

The island has historically been the site of an intensive seabird hunt. It is now an official ecological reserve.

IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status
Leach's Storm-Petrel
Number Year Season
Atlantic Puffin
Number Year Season
Manx Shearwater
Number Year Season
Black-legged Kittiwake
Number Year Season
Northern Gannet
Number Year Season