Turton Island

Site description (2001 baseline):

Site location and context
Turton Island is located in the Foxe Basin, just off the southeast coast of the Melville Peninsula. The community of Repulse Bay is located about 140 km to the west. The island is small and elongated, with a few small ponds amongst the tundra vegetation. Foreshore flats extend off the north side of the island.

Key biodiversity
Several species of waterfowl nest on Turton Island, with a large Common Eider colony being particularly noteworthy. In the early 1980s about 1,500 nesting pairs were estimated (presumably of the northern borealis subspecies). This may represent as much as 2% of the estimated population of this Common Eider subspecies. More recent surveys have not been completed at this colony. Other species nesting on Turton Island include Tundra Swans, Canada Geese, Brant, Black Guillemots, Herring Gulls and Arctic Terns.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Common Eiders are sensitive to disturbance and will desert a colony if disturbance is persistent. However, the isolated nature of this colony limits this threat. Turton Island was identified as a Key Migratory Bird Terrestrial Habitat site in the early 1990s.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Turton Island. Downloaded from on 28/09/2023.