Southeastern Ellesmere Island, Nunavut
The Inglefield Mountains are located on southeastern Ellesmere Island to the north and south of Makinson Inlet. The majority of the area is covered by ice fields, with nunataks (rock outcrops rising above the ice fields) throughout the area, and rocky cliffs bordering the coastal areas. The community of Grise Ford is located approximately 130 km south of the site. Researchers who have visited the area report very few signs of birds or mammals other than Ivory Gulls.
The nunataks within this site may support one-third of the nationally vulnerable Canadian Ivory Gull population (30% to 35%), and possibly as much as 5% of the world population of Ivory Gulls. However, the national and global population size of Ivory Gulls is poorly known. During the early 1980s there were between 730 and 830 adults distributed among 14 colonies in the Inglefield Mountains. The size of these colonies ranged from 12 to 300 birds with the number of breeding pairs fluctuating annually. The gulls are probably present from late May to late August. The colonies have not been surveyed in recent years.
The remote and inaccessible location of the Ivory Gull breeding colonies limits direct risk from human disturbance. At other sites, disturbance by humans, and in particular, low-flying aircraft have resulted in colony abandonment.
The Ivory Gulls at this colony likely feed in the polynyas around southeastern Ellesmere Island. Pollution of these polynyas by oil, or disturbance as result of shipping or exploratory drilling in the area of the polynyas could have negative impacts on the gulls.IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status