Harbour Rock is found off Cape Gabarouse, on the southeast (Atlantic) coast of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The closest town is Louisbourg, which is 12 km to the northeast, and the village of Gabarouse (or Gabarus) lies just three km to the south. The rocks are a cluster of high reefs deep within Gabarouse Bay. This small island is rocky and wave-beaten, and exposed to most easterly storms. The climate is maritime with lots of fog and high humidity.
Harbour Rock supports significant numbers of Great Cormorants, with over 2% of the North American population nesting on the island in 1992. The 12-year average (1971 to 1983) of 384 nests was even higher.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Cormorants have long had a bad reputation in North America. In some communities, cormorants are still blamed often for the declines in fish stocks. As a result of this negative image, there is the potential at Harbour Rock for the persecution of these nesting cormorants.