Longridge Point & Associated Coastline (ON124)
Southern James Bay, Ontario
Altitude 0 - 5m
This historical IBA was discontinued in 2017 and incorporated into a new, larger site called Pei lay sheesh kow. The text and data describing this historical IBA are retained here for reference.
Longridge Point is located along the southwestern shore of James Bay, about 60 km north of Moosonee. It is a peninsula that projects about 6 km into James Bay. At the outer edge it is barren sand and gravel; moving inland, the habitats progress to graminoid areas, then to shrubs and mixed forest on the high spots, as the land rises to about 5 metres on the ridge. A mile inland, the ridge ends abruptly and it is surrounded by grassy marshes that extend north and south of the point, and inland for 1 km or more. Intertidal marshes and submerged shoals extend for 1 to 2 km offshore all around the point and along associated shores. They extend for about 2.5 km south, to Puskwuche Point, and north for about 4 km to Halfway Point.
Longridge Point is a significant staging area and concentration point for shorebirds during fall migration. During a 1993 study, Whimbrel were recorded in significant numbers, with one-day counts of 225 (about 1% their North American population); the same study recorded 600 Black-bellied Plovers. Another survey, completed in the late 1970s, recorded a one-day count of 5,000 Red Knots (as much as 5% of the estimated rufa subspecies population at the time). Relatively large numbers of Semipalmated Sandpipers were also recorded during the 1993 study (a one-day count of 1,570); it is possible that the season total for this species may also be of significance. More recently, surveys from 2010-2013 have confirmed that Longridge Point continues to be a globally significant staging area for a variety of shorebirds. Most significant are the numbers of rufa Red Knots (up to 3.6% of the global population in a single day), Hudsonian Godwit (2.8%), and Pectoral Sandpiper (1.9%).
In addition to shorebirds, large numbers of waterfowl also utilize the area, or concentrate as they migrate past the point. During spring migration, as many as 2,600 Black Scoters were recorded on a one-day count in 1993 (possibly from 1.5%, to as much as 3% of the estimated eastern North American population). Large numbers of moulting Black Scoters have also been recorded during summer surveys, with 8,590 being recorded during an aerial survey in 1994 (possibly as much as 10% of the eastern North American population). Other species of waterfowl that have been recorded here in large numbers include Snow Goose, Canada Goose, and Common Goldeneye (respective one-day counts of 1500, 1800, and 500). The one-day estimate for Canada Geese likely exceeds the 1% threshold; the geese that were observed were from either the Tall Grass Prairie, or the Mississippi Valley populations. Other notable records include one-day counts of 500 Bonaparte's Gulls and 500 Horned Larks during fall migration, and 160 Arctic Terns during spring migration. In total, almost 200 species have been recorded at this site, likely the most anywhere on James or Hudson Bay.
At the moment, no threats are perceived to be imminent. The site was chosen as a study area for a seasonal and distributional reconnaisance survey of the Hudson Bay coastal areas. This work was completed in 1993.
Potential or Ongoing Threats