IBA St. Paul Island
Cabot Strait, Nova Scotia
Site Summary
NS032 Latitude
47.204° N
60.151° W
0 - 120 m
20.27 km²
coniferous forest (temperate), scrub/shrub, open sea, coastal cliffs/rocky shores (marine)
Land Use:
Potential or ongoing Threats:
Oil slicks
IBA Criteria: Nationally Significant: Threatened Species, Congregatory Species
Conservation status:
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Site Description
St. Paul Island, Nova Scotia, is an isolated, five kilometre-long island 25 kilometres off the northern tip of Nova Scotia. The island is steep-sided and very exposed to winds from all directions; the shores are wave-swept up to 50 metres. The resulting coniferous forest is stunted and scrubby. In the flatter central part of the island lie a few ponds. The island is no longer inhabited as the only former inhabitants of the island, the lighthouse keepers, are now gone.
St. Paul Island is thought to support about between 10 to 25 territorial male Bicknells Thrushes (about 1% of the Canadian population). This species, recently declared vulnerable in Canada by COSEWIC, has a small population worldwide and an even smaller population in Canada (between two and six thousand territorial males). The dense stunted and isolated woods of St. Paul Island provide the preferred habitat for this elusive species.

No cliff-nesting seabirds breed on St. Paul Island, since the shoreline cliffs are too exposed to extreme wave action. Leach's Storm-Petrels are thought to breed on the island, but there have been no surveys conducted for these burrow-nesting species.

IBA Criteria
SpeciesT | A | I Links Date Season Number G C N
Bicknell's Thrush 1985 SU 50
Note: species shown in bold indicate that the maximum number exceeds at least one of the IBA thresholds (sub-regional, regional or global). The site may still not qualify for that level of IBA if the maximum number reflects an exceptional or historical occurrence.
Conservation Issues
Few people visit this isolated and inaccessible spot which means that breeding Bicknells Thrushes are unlikely to be disturbed. Marine pollution is the only possible threat to the nesting seabirds.

The IBA Program is an international conservation initiative coordinated by BirdLife International. The Canadian co-partners for the IBA Program are Birds Canada and Nature Canada.
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