Year of compilation: 2001
The main colony of nesting Common Terns (Tern Island) has been inventoried yearly since 1989, and sporadically between 1971 and 1989. Numbers of tern nests have varied from a few thousand in 1971 to a peak of 7,000 nests in 1991, to 4,292 nests in 1996. It has consistently been the largest tern colony in the Maritimes, containing approximately 35% to 40% of the Maritimes Common Tern population. Not only are the islands significant at the regional level, but also at the global level with on average, about 14.5% of the North American Common Tern breeding population being present.
Piping Plovers also breed throughout the sand spit and barrier island area. Over the last five years (1992 to 1997) populations have varied from a low of nine pairs (1994) to a high of 17 pairs (1993). On average over 12 pairs have been present. In this respect, Kouchibouguac supports as much as 6% of Atlantic Canada Piping Plover population and about 1% of the Atlantic coastal Piping Plover population. During recent years, the North and South Kouchibouguac dunes have supported the majority of the Piping Plover territories. The beach and barrier island system, however, is naturally dynamic, and habitats are occasionally changed as a result of storms. When this happens other beaches in the system may become more important as nesting areas.
Other nesting species include Red-breasted Mergansers and Herring, Ring-billed and Great Black-backed Gulls.
Other major concerns include the control of visitor access to the Piping Plover and Common Tern nesting areas during the sensitive nesting periods. Most of the more significant locations are posted as areas closed to visitors during the nesting season. High water levels can also reduce the productivity of both the terns and the plovers; however, there is little that can be done to reduce this threat.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kouchibouguac NP Sand Islands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/06/2021.