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Îles aux Perroquets (QC066)

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Îles aux Perroquets (QC066)

Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, Québec

Latitude 50.215°N
Longitude 64.195°W
Altitude 0 - 15m
Area 19.36km²

Site Description

Îles aux Perroquets is a group of four islands located in the western sector of the Mingan archipelago, approximately 4.5 km off the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Québec. These islands are: Île aux Perroquets (2.7 ha), Île de la Maison (14.6 ha), and the northern (Caye Noire) and southern islands of Île du Wreck (37.8 ha). The IBA encompasses the land and water in a two km radius circle which has its centre point in the middle group of islands. All four islands are composed of limestone, with vegetation being mostly limited to coastal grasses and other forbs. Except for Île aux Perroquets, where there is an automated lighthouse, no traces of human activity are found on the islands.

Birds

Nesting terns, both Common and Arctic, are found in large numbers on the Îles aux Perroquets. In 1995, 529 pairs, and in 1999, 715 pairs of terns were recorded on Île du Wreck and Île de la Maison. These numbers would represent greater than 1% of the estimated eastern North American Common Tern population if all of the nesting terns were of this species; however, an undetermined minority are Arctic Terns. Over the past 20 years, populations of nesting terns have fluctuated, with a peak of 1739 pairs being recorded in 1983 and a low of 46 pairs being recorded in 1992.

Common Eiders (ssp. dresseri) also nest on these islands; 339 nesting pairs were recorded on Île du Wreck in 1999 (250 pairs on Île du Wreck ‘south', and 85 pairs on Île du Wreck ‘north'). The waters around the Mingan Islands support large flocks of wintering Common Eiders.

In addition to Common Eiders and terns, a rich assemblage of other nesting seabird species breed here currently or did breed here at one time: Atlantic Puffin (increasing from 47 pairs in 1978 to 416 pairs in 1998), Black Guillemot (12 pairs in 1990s), Razorbill (errratic breeder, 24 pairs in 1997), Black-legged Kittiwake (36 pairs in 1993, but zero in 1996), Ring-billed Gull (388 pairs in 1990, and zero in 1996), and Great Black-backed Gull (27 pairs in 1998). Northern Gannets historically nested on Île aux Perroquets, but were extirpated shortly after the construction of a lighthouse in 1888.

During fall migration, flocks of up to a thousand "peep” sandpipers (likely Semipalmated, Least or White-rumped Sandpipers) can be found on the tidal flats surrounding Île du Wreck.

Conservation Issues

Ile aux Perroquet was transferred to Parks Canada in 2000, although the other three islands are not part of the national park. Although poaching of seabird eggs and waterfowl in this area has decreased in recent years, disturbance from tour boats and visitors remains a problem. A project to re-establish Northern Gannets to Île aux Perroquets was initiated in 1997 and 1998. Gannet decoys were installed and broadcast tapes were played in an effort to attract dispersing birds from other colonies. Although positive results have not yet been obtained, the project will likely continue for a few more years. The project has been sponsored in part by the Quebec Labrador Foundation, and Bird Studies Canada's James L. Baillie Memorial Fund.

IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status
White-rumped Sandpiper
Number Year Season
12,0002014Fall
Dovekie
Number Year Season
322011Winter
702011Fall
Northern Gannet
Number Year Season
2,012 - 4,8001998Summer
Purple Sandpiper
Number Year Season
3002009Fall
2702008Fall
250 - 3502007Fall
Herring Gull
Number Year Season
3,5002006Summer
Razorbill
Number Year Season
6002010Spring