Bay du Nord Wilderness Reserve and Middle Ridge Wildlife Reserve are two large inland reserves in the southeastern part of Newfoundland. The area is an essentially untouched, upland plateau about 300 m in elevation, characterized by extensive barrens, kalmia heaths, bogs and fens. The Tolt and Mount Sylvester are two rocky outcrops that protrude out of the plateau. The river valleys are forested with Balsam Fir, or in the Terra Nova and Northwest River valleys, with Black Spruce, White Birch and Trembling Aspen.
The largest Caribou herd in insular Newfoundland (15,000 animals) uses large sections of these reserves. Calving takes place in the southeastern portion of Bay du Nord W.R. and in most of Middle Ridge W.R., while two-thirds of Bay du Nord is used as a wintering ground.
Rock Ptarmigan are thought to breed in small numbers in the higher parts of the Bay du Nord Middle Ridge area. The Newfoundland subspecies of Rock Ptarmigan, spp. welchi is a restricted-range subspecies as defined by the IBA program, because its range is smaller than 50,000km2. Willow Ptarmigan, on the other hand, are an abundant resident species.
Several species of waterfowl are common breeders in the lakes and wetlands: Canada Goose, American Black Duck, Green-winged Teal, Common Goldeneye and Common Merganser are some examples. A Harlequin Duck with young was seen on Bay du Nord River in 1998, significantly further south in Newfoundland than other breeding locations. Further studies would show whether more of this nationally endangered species are present.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bay du Nord Wilderness Reserve and Middle Ridge Wildlife Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/12/2020.