Baccalieu Island

Country/territory: Canada

IBA Criteria met: A4ii, A4iii (2008)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 4,600 ha

Birds Canada / Nature Canada

Site description
Baccalieu Island is located 5.5 km off the northern tip of the Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland. It is characterized by rugged topography, with cliffs rising over 100 metres from sea level to a maximum elevation of 137 metres. The vegetation community is dominated by heath, with large areas of grassy turf and patches of old growth black spruce and balsam fir forests.

Key biodiversity
Baccalieu Island hosts a globally significant breeding population of Leachs Storm-Petrel. Approximately 3.4 million breeding pairs have been estimated, which represents approximately 40% of the global population and about 70% of the western Atlantic population of this species. Baccalieu Island supports the largest Leach's Storm-Petrel colony in Canada, the largest known colony in the world.

The island also supports continentally and globally significant populations of Atlantic Puffin (45,000 pairs - approximately 12% of the eastern North America population); Black-legged Kittiwake (~13,000 - approximately 5 to 7% of the western Atlantic breeding population); and Northern Gannet (677 pairs - approximately 1.5% of the North American population). The island has the greatest abundance and species diversity of seabirds in eastern North America. Other seabirds nesting on the island include Common Murre, Thick-billed Murre, Razorbill, Black Guillemot, Northern Fulmar, Herring Gull and Great Black-backed Gull.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Baccalieu Island. Downloaded from on 01/04/2023.