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East Point (PE016)

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East Point (PE016)

East Point, Prince Edward Island

Latitude 46.444°N
Longitude 62.089°W
Altitude 0 - 20m
Area 91.03km²

Site Description

East Point is the eastern-most tip of Prince Edward Island, which extends into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It is located about 25 km east-northeast of the town of Souris. The cormorant colony is located on red sandstone cliffs, which are about 15 to 20 m high, and extend for about 1 km to the southwest of the point. They are the highest cliffs for 15+ km in either direction from the point. The tablelands above the cliffs are characterized by mixed coniferous and deciduous woods. The cliff faces have wave-cut footings, and shallows with reefs exposed at low tide (tide-rips at other times) extend about 0.5 km seaward from the point. The tidal range is about 3 to 4 metres, and the sea is often partly ice-covered through late April.

Birds

East Point supports a large Great Cormorant Colony with an average of 107 nests recorded over a 12 year period (1987 to 1998). This represents over 1.5% of the estimated North American Great Cormorant population. A peak of 202 nests was recorded in 1991, while a low of only 9 nests was recorded in 1995.

There is some foraging by seabirds (not large numbers) in the tide-rips off the point, and there have been suggestions that migrating Peregrine Falcons concentrate here as well.

Conservation Issues

The marine areas at the base of the cormorant cliffs are overseen by the federal Fisheries and Oceans department; the land above the cliffs is mostly privately owned, except for the East Point Provincial Park and the Coast Guard lighthouse. The lighthouse (now automated) is leased to private interests for tourism.

Disturbance to this colony by fishing interests (which is prevalent at other colonies on P.E.I.) may be limited by the amount of tourism that occurs in the area during the summer. The Prince Edward Island Fish and Wildlife Division monitors populations at this colony annually.

IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status
Great Cormorant
Number Year Season
941998Summer
1261997Summer
1561996Summer
181995Summer
1721994Summer
1061993Summer
2901992Summer
4041991Summer
3261990Summer
3021989Summer
3041988Summer
2801987Summer
2341983Summer
2381977Summer
Piping Plover
Number Year Season
4 - 52002Summer
42002Spring
4 - 82001Fall
62001Summer
42000Spring