IBA Boughton Island
Boughton Bay, Prince Edward Island
Site Summary
PE007 Latitude
46.192° N
62.414° W
0 - 20 m
15.37 km²
coniferous forest (temperate), open sea, inlets/coastal features (marine), coastal cliffs/rocky shores (marine)
Land Use:
Fisheries/aquaculture, Not Utilized (Natural Area)
Potential or ongoing Threats:
Disturbance, Persecution
IBA Criteria: Continentally Significant: Congregatory Species
Conservation status:
Restricted access for IBA coordinators
Login name: Password:


View in mobile

Site Description
Boughton Island is located off the east shore of Prince Edward Island, between Cardigan and Boughton Bays, about 10 km east of the town of Georgetown. It is a wooded island, roughly 3 km by 1 km, which is located 1.5 km from shore. At low tide, the island is connected to the mainland by mudflats. Rocky ledges are located off the southern tip.
Boughton Island supports a large Double-crested Cormorant Colony. It was probably founded in the 1980s, as fewer than 100 nests were recorded in 1987 and 1988. Between 1987 and 1996, annual population estimates fluctuated up to a peak of 420 nests in 1994. In 1997 and 1998, the population expanded rapidly with 1,933 and 1,302 nests recorded respectively. The 12-year average for this site is 446 nests, while the average for the most recent five years (1994-98) is 855 nests - mostly due to the influx of birds in 1997 and 1998. These most recent estimates exceed 1% of the estimated Atlantic Coast Double-crested Cormorant population. The immigration may have involved birds from other more disturbed colonies on Prince Edward Island.

IBA Criteria
SpeciesT | A | I Links Date Season Number G C N
Piping Plover 2002 FA 4
Piping Plover 2002 - 2012 SU 4 - 6
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
Some fishing interests disapprove of cormorants, and thus cormorants and their nests are occasionally destroyed. The rapid increase at this colony suggests that immigration may have involved birds from other more disturbed colonies. The marine areas adjacent to the island are overseen by the federal Fisheries and Oceans Department. The Prince Edward Island Fish and Wildlife Division surveys the cormorant populations at Boughton Island annually.

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.
   © Birds Canada