The Wolves Archipelago

Country/territory: Canada

IBA criteria met: -
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Area: 7 ha

Birds Canada / Nature Canada

Site description (2001 baseline)
The Wolves are a group of small rocky islands located in the Bay of Fundy, approximately 12 km south of Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick. Eastern Wolf Island is the largest (about 240 ha), with Green Rock, Spruce Island, Flat Wolf Island and Southern Wolf Island all being less than 75 ha in area. The shorelines are mostly rocky with a large intertidal zone. A few small coves are also present. The vegetation is mostly characterized by boreal species such as spruce, balsam fir, and poplars. In more exposed areas, raspberry bushes prevail, with grass, and stunted shrubs/trees also being present.

Key biodiversity
The Wolves Archipelago is a regular wintering and staging area for the nationally endangered eastern Harlequin Duck population. Approximately 35 to 50 Harlequin Ducks winter here (3 to 5% of the estimated Atlantic coast wintering population) with larger numbers occurring during migration. In the past, much larger numbers were reported (e.g., 200 - 300 individuals). Large numbers of wintering Purple Sandpipers have also been recorded.

In addition to wintering and migrating Harlequin Ducks, The Wolves Archipelago supports significant numbers of nesting Common Eiders (i.e., about 1% of the Atlantic coast ssp. dresseri population). There are references to 1,350 pairs being recorded in the late 1980s, but this may include additional nearby islands. During a four-year study in the mid-1990s, the number of nesting eiders ranged from 700 850 pairs.

Large numbers of Herring Gulls (792 pairs in 1998) also nest on the archipelago, and prior to gull control, 430 pairs of nesting Great Black-backed Gulls were present in 1995 and 1996. Nesting Black Guillemots are also numerous. Recently, Black-legged Kittiwakes have become established with a nesting colony of 138 pairs occurring on South Wolf Island in 1996. This colony is the southernmost breeding location for Black-legged Kittiwake in the western Atlantic. Razorbills have also recently become established on the archipelago, with five pairs being present in 1997.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: The Wolves Archipelago. Downloaded from on 30/11/2023.