Seventeenth census of seabird populations in the sanctuaries of the North Shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, 2010

Jean-François Rail, Richard Cotter


Seabirds in the 10 migratory bird sanctuaries of the North Shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Quebec, Canada, which were created in 1925, have been censused regularly for the last 85 years. The sanctuaries support 16 seabird species, many of which are found in significant numbers. From 2005 to 2010, some notable population changes were observed: large increases in Common Murres (Uria aalge), Razorbills (Alca torda), and two species of cormorants and continuing declines in Black-legged Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) and Atlantic Puffins (Fratercula arctica). The status of Leach’s Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) and Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) is extremely precarious because of their small breeding populations. Between 2005 and 2010, seabird numbers in the sanctuaries increased 19% overall and were stable in most sanctuaries (≤ 15% change); however, notable increases were observed at Îles Sainte-Marie (60%), Baie des Loups (47%), and Île à la Brume (44%). Nonetheless, considering historical records, increased surveillance and raising of awareness of seabird conservation in local communities near the sanctuaries of Île à la Brume, Baie des Loups, and Saint-Augustin would be most beneficial.


Seabirds; populations; North Shore; bird sanctuaries; Gulf of St. Lawrence; larids; alcids; Laridae; Alcidae

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