Hantzsch Island

Country/territory: Canada

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

Area: 100 ha

Protection status:

Birds Canada / Nature Canada

Site description
Hantzsch Island is located off the southernmost tip of Baffin Island, 1 km from the northeastern coast of Edgell Island. It is a small dome-shaped island characterized by high steep coastal cliffs and grassy slopes. Although the elevation does not exceed 150 m, the islands summit is conspicuous from a far distance.

Just north of Hantzsch Island, in Frobisher Bay, there is a large area of open water surrounded by sea ice, which is called a polynya. This is a natural attraction for Walrus, Beluga Whales, Bearded, Ringed and Harp Seal. Polar Bears are also found in this area, and use the nearby tip of Meta Incognita Peninsula (part of Baffin Island) as a maternity denning site.

Key biodiversity
The rugged shoreline cliffs of Hantszch Island support many seabird populations during the breeding season from May to late August or early September. At least 50,000 pairs of Thick-billed Murres have been reported nesting here, which accounts for about 3% of their national population. Over 2% of the national Black-legged Kittiwake population has also been observed at this site (5,000 pairs). Other species that nest here include small numbers of Glaucous Gulls and possibly Northern Fulmars.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Hantzsch Island. Downloaded from on 07/08/2020.