Wadham Islands and adjacent Marine Area

Country/territory: Canada

IBA Criteria met: A4i, A4iii (2008)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 12,000 ha

Birds Canada / Nature Canada

Site description
The Wadham Islands are located on the east coast of Newfoundland, approximately 15 km east of Fogo Island and 40 km northwest of Cape Freels. They are comprised of seven main islands and many isolated rocks and shoals within a 120 km2 area. The smaller islands are low and have rocky terrain, while the larger islands are vegetated with grasses and low shrubs. Peckford Island (2,500 ha) is the largest island in the group. The other islands include Green, White, Copper, Duck, James, and Outer Wadham Island.

Key biodiversity
The Wadham Islands contains a large colony of Atlantic Puffins. In total, 15,950 pairs (950 pairs on Green Island and 15,000 pairs on James Island) was recorded during surveys completed in 1984. This represents about 4.3% of the estimated eastern North American population. In addition to the nesting puffins, other seabirds nesting on the Wadham Islands include Leachs Storm-Petrel (10,000 pairs), Razorbills (30 pairs), Black Guillemots (>25 pairs) and Common / Arctic Terns (376 pairs). In all, it is estimated that the seabird colony supports over 26,380 pairs of seabirds.

In 1995, a Canadian Wildlife Service aerial survey recorded approximately 25,000 wintering Common Eiders (as much as 9% of the estimated northern borealis population) along the Wadham Islands to Cape Freels coastline. Within this region, the eiders often shift to different feeding areas, depending on ice conditions and the location of open water.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Wadham Islands and adjacent Marine Area. Downloaded from on 01/07/2022.