Site Complet

Cap St. Mary's (NF001)


Cap St. Mary's (NF001)

Point Lance, Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador

Latitude 46,813°N
Longitude 54,209°O
Altitude 0 - 130m
Superficie 329,39km²

Description du site

Cape St. Marys is located on the southwestern tip of the Avalon Peninsula at the entrance to Placentia Bay. The cliffs along the mainland rise to approximately 130 m above sea level, with grassy barrens being present on top. An isolated sea stack (Bird Rock) is located offshore. Colonial seabirds nest along approximately 4 km of mainland cliff and on the isolated stack. The site extends east and southwards out of the ecological reserve to include : Bull Island Point, the small islets of Bull, Cow and Calf islets, St. Marys Keys (Cays), and Lance Point.


Cape St. Marys supports a large colony of breeding seabirds. In all, over 30,000 breeding pairs are present. Common Murres and Black-legged Kittiwakes are the most abundant with their populations being conservatively estimated in the late 1980s at approximately 10,000 pairs each. This represents approximately 2% of the eastern North America population of Common Murres and 4 to 5% of the western Atlantic breeding population of Black-legged Kittiwakes. A large population of Northern Gannets is also present with breeding populations being estimated in the late 1980s at 5,485 pairs. This represents approximately 2% of the global population and as much as 12% of the North American population. Other seabirds nesting at Cape St. Marys include Thick-billed Murres, Razorbills, Black Guillemots, Herring Gulls, Great Black-backed Gulls, Great Cormorants, and Double-crested Cormorants.

The Cape St. Marys area also supports large numbers of migrant seaducks (Oldsquaw, scoters, eiders), including large numbers of the eastern population of Harlequin Ducks (nationally endangered). About 30 to 40 birds are reported in some years. This may be greater than 1% of the eastern North America population of Harlequin Duck.

Enjeux de conservation

In 1983, the main breeding colony and some adjacent ocean at Cape St. Marys was established as a Provincial Ecological Reserve under the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Act. The reserve is a popular tourist attraction and draws many tens of thousands of visitors each summer. During the summer months, it is staffed by provincial naturalists.

Historically, gannet populations were severely reduced by direct human predation and more recently by the accumulation of toxic chemicals. Oil pollution, both chronic and catastrophic is also a concern, especially considering that the colony is located near a major shipping route from the Hibernia oilfields to refineries and oil storage facilities in Placenta Bay. There is also a high level of shipping traffic in the area, especially in winter.

A number of seabird studies and surveys have been conducted by researchers from Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Canadian Wildlife Service.

Catégories ZICO Habitats Usages Menaces Potencielles ou Existantes Status de Protection
Fou de Bassan
Nombre Année Saison
15 0002017Automne
10 000 - 20 0002017Été
30 0002017Printemps
5 000 - 10 0002016Automne
10 0002016Été
2 0002016Printemps
10 000 - 25 0002015Automne
5 000 - 30 0002015Été
5 000 - 20 0002015Printemps
10 0002014Automne
10 000 - 15 0002014Été
5 000 - 20 0002014Printemps
2 000 - 30 0002013Automne
10 0002013Été
2 000 - 40 0002012Automne
10 0002012Été
3 0002012Printemps
40 0002011Automne
10 000 - 30 0002011Été
10 0002011Printemps
5 000 - 15 0002010Été
3 000 - 8 0002009Été
1 200 - 15 0002008Été
10 0002007Automne
3 0002007Été
5 0002006Automne
2 000 - 10 0002006Été
5 0002005Été
10 0002003Été
10 0002002Été
1 2002001Été
4 000 - 18 0002000Automne
1 500 - 5 0001999Automne
5 0001999Été
12 0001997Été
20 0001996Été
10 9701988Été
Mergule nain
Nombre Année Saison
Mouette tridactyle
Nombre Année Saison
20 0002015Été
40 0002011Automne
20 0002002Été
25 0001997Été
20 0001988Été
Mouette rieuse
Nombre Année Saison
Puffin des Anglais
Nombre Année Saison
Pluvier siffleur
Nombre Année Saison
Arlequin plongeur
Nombre Année Saison