IBA East Point
Southern James Bay, Ontario
Site Summary
ON147 Latitude
51.356° N
79.695° W
0 - 5 m
344.02 km²
scrub/shrub, salt marshes/brackish marshes, fen, mud or sand flats (saline), freshwater marsh
Land Use:
Nature conservation and research, Hunting
Potential or ongoing Threats:
IBA Criteria: Globally Significant: Congregatory Species, Waterfowl Concentrations, Migratory Landbird Concentrations, Continentally Significant: Shorebird Concentrations
Conservation status: IBA Conservation Plan written/being written, Migratory Bird Sanctuary (federal), Ramsar Site (Wetland of International Significance)
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Site Description
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.

East Point is located in Ontario on the eastern edge of southeastern James Bay. It is about 70 km east of Moosonee, and within 15 km of the Québec border. The site includes the southeast side of James Bay, and extends north from East Point for about 10 km to Gull Point (near the Québec border), and south for about 15 km to the Missisicabi River. The area south of East Point contains some of the widest coastal marshes within James Bay. Supertidal marshes extend as far as 6 to 7 km inland, while intertidal marshes and mudflats extend another 2 to 3 km offshore. In some areas north of the point, scrubby vegetation extends almost to the shore, but mudflats and shoals are present and in some areas they are as extensive as they are farther south. In many respects, this site forms an extension of the Hannah Bay IBA, which is located immediately to the south.

During the fall of 1986, a total of 10,000 Brant (ssp. hrota), were observed at East Point over a 24-day period. This would represent about 8% of the estimated eastern North American population. Other birds occurring in significant numbers include 34,000 Long-tailed Ducks (representing about 1.2% of the estimated North American population), and 18,000 Dunlin (representing about 8% of the central Canadian breeding population).

In addition to waterbirds, large concentrations of landbirds were also recorded at this site. During the 1986 study, a total of 1,107 Rough-legged Hawks was observed at this site over an 18-day period (about 1.5% of the estimated Canadian population) as were 18,000 to 20,000 Common Redpolls over a 15 day period.

IBA Criteria
SpeciesT | A | I Links Date Season Number G C N
Brant 1985 FA 10,000
Dunlin 1985 FA 18,000
Hudsonian Godwit 2013 FA 2,000 - 2,383
Long-tailed Duck 1985 FA 34,000
Pectoral Sandpiper 2013 SU 489
Waterbirds 1985 FA 34,000
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 intertidal and supertidal marshes south of East Point are within the limits of the Hannah Bay Migratory Bird Sanctuary. This sanctuary has been identified as a wetland of international significance under the Ramsar Convention. The effects of hydroelectric development on the flow regime of the rivers entering James Bay in the vicinity of East Point are a concern. However, plans for such development appear to be on hold. Alterations to the hydrology of the area could lead to degradation of habitats through the disruption of water flows, salinity gradients, sedimentation patterns, and freshwater nutrient inputs.

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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