Île Nue de Mingan

Country/territory: Canada

IBA Criteria met: A4i (2008)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 1,300 ha

Protection status:

Birds Canada / Nature Canada

Site description
Île Nue de Mingan is an island located at the western edge of the Mingan archipelago, four kilometres off the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Québec. The island is comprised of limestone and it is part of Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve. A second island, the tiny Îlot is separated from the main island by about a hundred metres of sea. A primitive campground is situated on the north end of the island and an information and interpretation centre is located in Havre-Saint-Pierre outside of this IBA. Several regionally rare plants, such as Green Spleenwort (Asplenium viride) and Small-flowered Rocket (Erysimum inconspicuum var. coarctatum) occur on Île Nue de Mingan.

Île Nue de Mingan was used in the 15th and 16th centuries by the Basque, who were fishing for cod and hunting whales.

Key biodiversity
This site hosts globally significant concentrations of Herring Gulls. In 1996, 6924 pairs or about 5% of the estimated North American Herring Gull population were recorded at this site.

Common Eiders (ssp. dresseri) also nest at this site; in 1996 there were 341 nesting pairs. These birds migrate to the coasts of Nova Scotia and New England for the winter. Also in 1996, 195 pairs of Great Black-backed Gulls and in 1999, 214 pairs of Arctic/Common Terns nested here. Ring-billed Gull numbers peaked in 1983 at 174 pairs, but the population declined to only 5 pairs in 1996. Black-legged Kittiwake numbers have fluctuated considerably throughout the years as well. There were 5 pairs in 1987, 90 pairs in 1988, 2 pairs in 1993, and about 100 pairs in 1996. One pair of the rare Black-headed Gull nested here in 1988 and 1992. In total, over 16,000 seabirds (excluding eiders) breed at the Île Nue de Mingan colony.

Migrant shorebirds are present in the spring and common in the fall. The most abundant species, listed in decreasing order are: White-rumped Sandpiper, Red Knot, Least Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Hudsonian Godwit.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Île Nue de Mingan. Downloaded from on 07/08/2020.