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Big Barasway (NF037)

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Big Barasway (NF037)

Burgeo, Newfoundland and Labrador

Latitude 47.640°N
Longitude 57.728°W
Altitude 0 - 10m
Area 10.40km²

Site Description

The Grand Bay West and Cheeseman Provincial Park beaches are located at the southwest corner of Newfoundland, near Port-aux-Basques. Cheeseman Provincial Park is located at the western edge of the site, while the Grand Bay West beaches cover the central and eastern sections of the site. Together, they form a beach system that spans approximately 8 km of coastline, with a few small rocky sections being interspersed, and a low rocky peninsula being located near the eastern end. The beach is variable in width, but is mostly between 50 and 100 m wide. Some small sand dunes are also present. Cheeseman Provincial Park is the first park that thousands of tourists encounter after they exit the ferry that links Nova Scotia to Newfoundland.

Birds

Between 1985 and 1998, an average of 7 adult Piping Plovers were recorded at Big Barasway by the Newfoundland Wildlife Division. This represents about 1.6% of the Atlantic Canada population (based on the 1996 International Piping Plover Survey). Between 1995 and 1998, Grand Barasway supported 24% of the Piping Plovers recorded in Newfoundland. Piping Plovers are designated as both globally vulnerable and nationally endangered.

Conservation Issues

For the most part, the designation of Big Barasway as a Provincial Wildlife Reserve has reduced the usage of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) on the beaches. In addition, Grandy Brook separates the beach from the community of Burgeo, and this is enough of a barrier to stop most illegal ATV traffic. The use of ATVs is damaging to plover habitat and can often lead to nest abandonment and reduced nest productivity. As most sites on the coast of Newfoundland, there is a continual threat of oil spills.

IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status
Piping Plover
Number Year Season
52011Summer
42006Fall
92006Summer
32001Summer
51998Summer
91997Summer
51996Summer
81995Summer
81992Summer
71991Summer
51990Summer
81989Summer
81988Summer
61987Summer
61985Summer