Fischot Islands

Country/territory: Canada

IBA Criteria met: A4i (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 25 ha

Birds Canada / Nature Canada

Site description
The Fischot Islands are a series of small islands, isolated rocks, and shoals at the southeast head of Hare Bay, on the northeast side of Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula. They are 15 km north of Croque and 25 km east of Main Brook. These low, treeless, rocky islands and islets are fully exposed to the full force of the Atlantic Ocean from the east. However, they are large enough that eiders can find shelter during severe storms.

Ice cover plays an important role in eider activity at this site during winter. The ocean in this area can be mostly ice-covered from late December to early May with the southward flowing Labrador Current carrying much northern-formed ice to the Fischot Islands area. However, westerly winds usually keep leads of open water on the lee side of the Great Northern Peninsula (around the Fischot Islands) and this is where large numbers of wintering eiders congregate.

Key biodiversity
The Fischot Islands have long had a reputation among local hunters for supporting large numbers of Common Eiders during the winter. The only formal survey of eiders in the Fischot Islands area was conducted by the Canadian Wildlife Survey in 1995. They estimated the winter congregation to include about 10,000 Common Eiders, representing as much as 3.5% of the northern (spp. borealis) population (it is likely that a small number of the wintering birds are of the Atlantic dresseri ssp. as well.

From the early to the mid 1990s, there was a Common Eider re-introduction program, nearby in Hare Bay. The success of this program has not been fully evaluated yet and it is not known whether any of the eiders in this IBA are from these re-introduction efforts.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Fischot Islands. Downloaded from on 01/07/2022.