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Sydkap Ice Field (NU055)


Sydkap Ice Field (NU055)

Ellesmere Island, Nunavut

Latitude 76.390°N
Longitude 85.075°W
Altitude 0m
Area 33.06km²

Site Description

This site is located on southern Ellesmere Island, approximately 50 km west of Grise Fiord at the southern edge of the Sydkap ice field. Most of the area is covered by the ice cap except for a small limestone plateau that extends south from the site. There is little sign of other birds, or mammals and plants.


About 300 Ivory Gulls, or approximately 12% of the Canadian and about 1% of the world Ivory Gull population breed at this site. The site is rarely surveyed, but the colony size is thought to vary on an annual basis. The Ivory Gull is listed as vulnerable in Canada, and the national and global population estimates for this nomadic, far-ranging gull are highly uncertain. At this site, the Ivory Gull nest on the ground among the limestone plates, and probably occupy the area from late May to late August.

Conservation Issues

The remote and inaccessible location of the Ivory Gull breeding colonies limits direct risk from human disturbance. At other sites, disturbance by humans, and in particular, low-flying aircraft have resulted in colony abandonment. Pollution of the polynyas around southern Ellesmere Island where the gulls feed is a potential threat.

IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status
Ivory Gull
Number Year Season