St. Peter's Bay by Hailey Blacquierie

Important Bird Areas

Important Bird Areas (IBAs) are identified using international criteria and standards as special spaces providing crucial habitat for particular at-risk species or assemblages of birds. IBAs can range in size from very tiny patches to large tracts of land or water. In Canada, IBAs carry no legal protection, but they complement and often overlap with other national, provincial, and local conservation designations. They have been used to design conservation reserve networks and prioritize lands for acquisition by land trusts across Canada.

In Prince Edward Island, there are 16 Important Bird Areas scattered along our 800 km of coast. The rich mix of salt marsh wetland, beach barrier ponds, sand spits and nearshore islands around PEI provide important nesting, feeding and resting grounds for shorebirds, gulls and waterfowl. PEI is situated in the Atlantic Migratory Flyway, used by hundreds of species that move between different breeding and wintering grounds in the Americas.

Important Bird Areas
A great egret with great blue heron in back at Savage Harbour by Brett MacKinnon

Island Nature Trust partners with Bird Studies Canada, Nature Canada and the Province to collect and manage information on PEI’s IBAs.

More details on the locations and designation of IBAs in PEI can be found at: