Îles aux Perroquets

Country/territory: Canada

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

Area: 1,900 ha

Protection status:

Birds Canada / Nature Canada

Site description
Îles aux Perroquets is a group of four islands located in the western sector of the Mingan archipelago, approximately 4.5 km off the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Québec. These islands are: Île aux Perroquets (2.7 ha), Île de la Maison (14.6 ha), and the northern (Caye Noire) and southern islands of Île du Wreck (37.8 ha). The IBA encompasses the land and water in a two km radius circle which has its centre point in the middle group of islands. All four islands are composed of limestone, with vegetation being mostly limited to coastal grasses and other forbs. Except for Île aux Perroquets, where there is an automated lighthouse, no traces of human activity are found on the islands.

Key biodiversity
Nesting terns, both Common and Arctic, are found in large numbers on the Îles aux Perroquets. In 1995, 529 pairs, and in 1999, 715 pairs of terns were recorded on Île du Wreck and Île de la Maison. These numbers would represent greater than 1% of the estimated eastern North American Common Tern population if all of the nesting terns were of this species; however, an undetermined minority are Arctic Terns. Over the past 20 years, populations of nesting terns have fluctuated, with a peak of 1739 pairs being recorded in 1983 and a low of 46 pairs being recorded in 1992.

Common Eiders (ssp. dresseri) also nest on these islands; 339 nesting pairs were recorded on Île du Wreck in 1999 (250 pairs on Île du Wreck ‘south’, and 85 pairs on Île du Wreck ‘north’). The waters around the Mingan Islands support large flocks of wintering Common Eiders.

In addition to Common Eiders and terns, a rich assemblage of other nesting seabird species breed here currently or did breed here at one time: Atlantic Puffin (increasing from 47 pairs in 1978 to 416 pairs in 1998), Black Guillemot (12 pairs in 1990s), Razorbill (errratic breeder, 24 pairs in 1997), Black-legged Kittiwake (36 pairs in 1993, but zero in 1996), Ring-billed Gull (388 pairs in 1990, and zero in 1996), and Great Black-backed Gull (27 pairs in 1998). Northern Gannets historically nested on Île aux Perroquets, but were extirpated shortly after the construction of a lighthouse in 1888.

During fall migration, flocks of up to a thousand “peep” sandpipers (likely Semipalmated, Least or White-rumped Sandpipers) can be found on the tidal flats surrounding Île du Wreck.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Îles aux Perroquets. Downloaded from on 23/01/2021.