Year of compilation: 2001
In addition to Northern Gannets, equally impressive numbers of Black-legged Kittiwakes and Common Murres also nest on the cliffs. In 1989, over 23,000 pairs of Black-legged Kittiwakes were recorded, representing as much as 9 to 12% of the western Atlantic population. In the same year, almost 28,000 pairs of Common Murre were recorded. This represents approximately 5% of the eastern North American Common Murre population. The island is clearly of global significance for nesting colonial seabirds.
Other seabirds nesting on the island include Double-crested Cormorant, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Black Guillemot, Razorbill, Atlantic Puffin, and Leach's Storm-Petrel. In all, ten different seabird species nest on the island. During the summer and early fall Harlequin Ducks from the eastern population (nationally endangered) concentrate around both the island and Percé Rock. Numbers observed have been as high as 118 individuals (early September 1989).
In addition to seabirds, the island supports a typical community of boreal forest birds (Blackpoll Warbler, Boreal Chickadee etc.) and other habitat generalists in the abandoned fields. As of 1985, 218 bird species had been observed within the park.
A few summer residents remained after this date until the Québec Government purchased the island in 1971. The provincial park (Parc de L'Ile-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé) was declared in 1985. As a "conservation park," the conservation of ecological features is of prime importance. Currently the park has 15 km of hiking trails, conservation zones where access is controlled, and an "intense conservation zone" which prohibits direct access to some seabird colonies.
The park is a popular tourist destination, with the seabirds being the main attraction. Approximately 60,000 people visit the island each year. Fences, observation platforms, and programs to increase public awareness are used to minimize disturbance to the birds.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bonaventure Island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 11/08/2022.