Île a Calculot

Country/territory: Canada

IBA Criteria met: A4i (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 1,300 ha

Protection status:

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description
Île à Calculot is part of the Mingan Archipelago, and is located approximately 4 km south of the town of Havre-St-Pierre, on the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The IBA encompasses the land of Île à Calculot, and water (but not land on other islands) in a two km radius circle, which has its centre point in the middle of the island. Île à Calculot is a small, grassy island that is surrounded by rocky reefs. The island was named after the puffins (calculot) that bred here historically. A larger island, Île du Havre lies between Havre-St-Pierre and Île à Calculot. The islands of the Mingan archipelago are composed of grey limestone.

Key biodiversity
Île à Calculot is a globally significant site for breeding Common Terns, and a nationally significant site for colonial waterbirds. The density of nesting gulls and terns is so high that during the breeding season the entire surface of the island is covered with nests.

About 15% of the many hundreds of terns nesting on the island, are estimated to be Arctic Terns, while the remainder are Common Terns. Thus, approximately 1% of the North American Common Tern population nests here.

The Ring-billed Gull is the most abundant species on the island. In 1998, 3,745 nesting pairs were recorded. The rare Black-headed Gull occurs regularly on the island and the species has been a confirmed breeder in two years (1988 and 1998). Other gull species that nest on the island in small numbers include Herring Gull and Great Black-backed Gull. In total, six colonial waterbirds nest on Île à Calculot.

In winter, thousands of wintering Common Eiders can be found in the waters around the Mingan Islands (IBA #QC159). These eiders breed along the Labrador coast and Ungava Bay and move south in winter.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Île a Calculot. Downloaded from on 06/07/2020.