This Arctic Island Sanctuary is Ringed by Cliffs and Home to 400,000 Breeding Birds
In the Arctic region of Nunavut, Canada, you will find an incredible habitat that is ringed by cliffs and home to some 200,000 pairs of breeding birds.
Prince Leopold Island is located approximately 13 km off the northeastern tip of Somerset Island at the junction of Prince Regent Inlet and Barrow Strait and is considered one of the most important multi-species seabird colonies in the Arctic.
Vertical cliffs that rise in elevation 245-265 meters (800-870 ft) above sea level ring the island; while scree slopes, ledges, gravel spits and sparse vegetation (mostly mosses, lichens and grasses) cover the rest of the 64 square kilometer (24.7 sq. mi), oval-shaped island.
According to IBA Canada (Important Bird Areas):
Prince Leopold Island supports a major seabird colony that includes the second largest breeding congregation of Northern Fulmars in Canada. Approximately 20% of the Canadian Northern Fulmar population, as much as 11% of the western Atlantic Black-legged Kittiwake population, over 1% of the north Atlantic Thick-billed Murre population, and over 1% of the global Black Guillemot population are found at Prince Leopold Island. Combined the total number of pairs of seabirds at this colony is almost 200,000 pairs.
Other species known to breed on the island include Atlantic Brant, Common Raven, Common Eider, Parasitic Jaeger, Glaucous Gull, and Snow Bunting. The seabirds generally occupy the site from early May to the end of September. [source]
Established in 1995, the Prince Leopold Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) encompasses the entire island, as well as all water within 5 km of the shore.
The Canadian federal crown land encompasses 311 square kilometers and serves to protect migratory birds, their nests and their eggs from activities that could harm them.
For more information on Prince Leopold Island and conservation efforts, visit IBA Canada and the Prince Leopold Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS).