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Musquodoboit (NS014)

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Musquodoboit (NS014)

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Latitude 44.705°N
Longitude 63.120°W
Altitude 0 - 5m
Area 28.54km²

Site Description

This site is located at the seaward end of Musquodoboit Harbour on the Atlantic Ocean coast of south-central Nova Scotia, about 35 km east of downtown Dartmouth. Musquodoboit is a tidal inlet, largely enclosed by a barrier sand beach and many wooded islands. Sand and mud flats appear during periods of low water. The tidal range at this site is about 2 m. The adjoining land rises to 50 m within 1 km of the harbour.

Birds

Musquodoboit supports huge congregations of Canada Geese from the breeding population in Newfoundland and Labrador. Throughout most of the year, high numbers of geese have been recorded at this site: during spring migration (8,000 geese representing 7% of the estimated population); during fall migration (2,000 geese about 2%); and during the winter (5,000 geese 4.%). Since the 1960s, waterfowl surveys have been generally conducted several times per year. As more open water has appeared in the mid-1970s, geese have become increasingly more common in winter. Numbers of the Newfoundland/Labrador-breeding geese are now supplemented by local Nova Scotia-breeding birds.

American Black Ducks are also found in Musquodoboit Harbour in winter and can number as high as 2,000 to 3,000 birds. This represents 1% of the global population of the species. These numbers are peak numbers, while typical numbers are somewhat lower. Piping Plovers (globally vulnerable, nationally endangered) are also found at this site in breeding season. In many years (e.g. 1994, 1997), two birds have been recorded at this site.

Conservation Issues

Martinique (provincial) Game Sanctuary includes most of the aquatic and intertidal areas within the seaward portion of the inlet. This area is closed to boaters and clam diggers from Labour Day weekend to April 15th, allowing the birds to feed undisturbed. Martinique Beach Park (also provincial) encompasses a barrier beach and associated connected islands. Both park and sanctuary were established in the 1970s. A waterfowl banding stations has been in operation since the early 1970s, with banding taking place in September and sometimes in January and February. American Black Ducks and the two teal species make up the majority of the birds banded. During the breeding season signage concerning Piping Plovers is erected. Other parts of the site are privately owned.

IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status
Semipalmated Plover
Number Year Season
1,5002017Fall
1,850 - 2,2212016Fall
1,315 - 3,2672015Fall
1,239 - 4,0002014Fall
1,7032013Fall
1,334 - 4,0002012Fall
Piping Plover
Number Year Season
6 - 102015Spring
12011Summer
102009Spring
42006Summer
52005Summer
32001Summer
21997Summer
01996Summer
21994Summer
Savannah Sparrow
Number Year Season
18 - 452017Summer
232016Summer
232014Spring
202006Spring
202001Fall
401995Fall
251991Spring