Souris, Prince Edward Island
The Chepstow Cormorant Colonies consist of two rocky headlands (Chepstow Point and Mackinnon Point) which are located about three km apart along the south side of the easternmost peninsula of Prince Edward Island. The town of Souris is located 2 and 5 km west of these colonies respectively. The cliffs, which are comprised of red Permian sandstone, are about 10 m high at Chepstow Point, and over 20 m high at MacKinnon Point. A narrow rocky shelf, exposed at low tides, occurs below the cliff. The tablelands above the colonies are characterized by agricultural land at Chepstow Point and coniferous forest at Mackinnon Point. Although both sites are within 1.5 km of paved roads, overland access to the colonies is over private land. The climate is maritime, but fog is rare; sea-ice may persist until late April.
Most years, the Chepstow Cormorant Colonies support significant numbers of Great Cormorants. Over a 12 year period (1987-98) the average number at these sites (combined) was 183 nests: 93 nests at Chepstow Point, and 90 nests as MacKinnon Point. This combined average represents about 3% of the estimated North American Great Cormorant population. A peak of 313 nests was recorded at the two colonies in 1987 (135 at Chepstow Point, 178 nests at MacKinnon Point), and a low of only 65 nests was recorded at the two colonies in 1997.
As with other cormorant colonies in Atlantic Canada, there is frequent disturbance and occasional raids on these colonies by those with fishery interests. The proximity of the Chepstow colony to the town of Souris may result in less disturbance, but the varying number of nests that are found in successive years suggest otherwise.
The marine areas adjacent to the site are overseen by the federal Fisheries and Oceans Department, with the adjacent tablelands and cliff faces being privately owned. The Prince Edward Island Fish and Wildlife Division surveys the Chepstow Cormorant Colonies annually.IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status
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