Fortune Bridge, Prince Edward Island
Durell Point is located on the east coast of Prince Edward Island, about 12 km southwest of the town of Souris. It is comprised of red sandstone cliffs, about 15 m high, and is the highest headland for 15 or more km in either direction. The cliffs here are less precipitous than at other east-P.E.I. colonies. Most of the cliff-top is wooded, with agricultural fields being adjacent to the forest. The stretch of coastline in either direction from Durell Point includes barrier-beach lagoons in each bay. These bays and lagoons include: Boughton Bay, Little Pond, Little River, Howe Bay, Eglington Cove, Rollo Bay and Bay Fortune. The climate is maritime, but with little fog; the sea ice persists until late April.
Durell Point has supported internationally significant numbers of nesting Great Cormorants, with a long-term annual average (1987-98) of 136 nests recorded - about 2% of the estimated North American population. However, during recent years (1994-98), significantly lower totals have been recorded, with an annual average of only 25 nests. In contrast, the annual average from 1987-93 was 215 nests. No nesting Great Cormorants were recorded in 1997. In 1983, 481 nests were recorded at this colony, which over the past 20 years is the highest tally for all Great Cormorant colonies in P.E.I. Small numbers of nesting Double-crested Cormorants have also been occasionally recorded at this colony.
The Durell Point cormorant colony supported internationally significant numbers of Great Cormorants until province-wide shooting was allowed from 1994 to 1997. Numbers dropped significantly over that period, but increased numbers were present in 1998. An intensive study of this colony in the 1970s likely minimized disturbance and allowed population growth; earlier estimates were seldom greater than 100 pairs.
The marine areas adjacent to the site are overseen by the federal Fisheries and Oceans Department, with the adjacent tablelands and cliff faces being privately owned. The Prince Edward Island Fish and Wildlife Division surveys the Durell Point cormorant colony annually.IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status
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