Site Complet

Albany River Estuary & Assoc. Coastline (ON125)


Albany River Estuary & Assoc. Coastline (ON125)

Fort Albany, Ontario

Latitude 52,317°N
Longitude 81,515°O
Altitude 0 - 5m
Superficie 1 918,61km²

Description du site

The Albany River Estuary and its associated coastlines are found along the southwestern edge of James Bay, approximately 15 km east of Fort Albany, in northeastern Ontario. This site encompasses the region at the mouth of the Albany River, the section of coast that extends northward approximately 60 km to the mouth of the Kapiskau River, and the section of coast that extends southward about 50 km to Cockispenny Point. Several islands are located within the mouth of the Albany River. This large river is a major source of freshwater and silt for James Bay. At the river mouth, mudflats and submerged shallow shoals extend as far as 10 km offshore. At the north end of the site, near the Kapiskau River, intertidal marshes are about 1 km long. The marshes widen near the Albany River and then narrow considerably in the south end, near Cockispenny Point. The supertidal marshes follow a similar pattern; they are roughly 4 km in width at the mouth of the Albany, and less than 2 km wide further to the north and south. The extensive size of these open coastal wetlands (1.5 to 5 km wide) provides tremendous foraging opportunities for staging birds. The combination of marshes and shallow lakes provide a unique habitat along the coast north of the Albany River.


The vast mud flats and marshes of the Albany River and coast make it a globally important staging area for thousands of migrating geese, waterfowl and shorebirds. During fall migration, more than 20% of the estimated global Hudsonian Godwit population passes through this region en route to Tierra del Fuego. In summer, 7,730 Black Scoters (over 4% of the global population) and approximately 400 Marbled Godwits (4% of the Canadian population) have been recorded during one-day counts. Also, on a one-day fall migration count, more than 34,000 Lesser Snow Geese, representing more than 1% of the mid-continental population, were recorded. Snow Geese also stage here in large numbers during spring migration.

Several other bird species including Sandhill Cranes, and several species of shorebirds and ducks, such as the American Black Duck and Green Winged Teal also use the Albany River Estuary as a staging site. . In addition to the high concentration of staging birds, nests of Little Gulls have been confirmed and it is believed that Black Terns also nest in the area.

Enjeux de conservation

A 1985 Quebec government proposal to dam the mouth of James Bay for hydro-electricity production would undoubtedly result in catastrophic effects to the James Bay estuarine and marine ecosystem if ever put into effect.

Catégories ZICO Habitats Usages Menaces Potencielles ou Existantes Status de Protection
Barge hudsonienne
Nombre Année Saison
2 381 - 5 0882012Automne
1 8762012Été
10 0001995Automne
Bécasseau semipalmé
Nombre Année Saison
38 330 - 63 7502012Automne
88 1302012Été
Bécasseau à croupion blanc
Nombre Année Saison
27 286 - 28 6052012Automne
28 5702012Été
Bernache cravant
Nombre Année Saison
2 7002003Été
3 000 - 8 0002001Printemps
Macreuse à bec jaune
Nombre Année Saison
7 7301974Été
Bécasseau variable
Nombre Année Saison
13 720 - 19 8502012Automne
19 4202012Été
Oiseaux aquatiques
Nombre Année Saison
10 6001994Printemps
34 2121979Automne
Grand Chevalier
Nombre Année Saison