IBA Sydkap Ice Field
Ellesmere Island, Nunavut
Site Summary
NU055 Latitude
76.390° N
85.075° W
0 m
33.06 km²
rocky flats & barrens, other
Land Use:
Not Utilized (Natural Area)
Potential or ongoing Threats:
Disturbance, Oil slicks
IBA Criteria: Globally Significant: Congregatory Species, Nationally Significant: Threatened Species, Restricted Range Species
Conservation status:
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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.

IBA Criteria
SpeciesT | A | I Links Date Season Number G C N
Ivory Gull 1976 SU 600
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
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.

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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