Site Complet

Point Amour, Strait of Belle Isle (LB022)


Point Amour, Strait of Belle Isle (LB022)

Point Amour, Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador

Latitude 51,484°N
Longitude 56,850°O
Altitude 0 - 25m
Superficie 107,23km²

Description du site

Point Amour is located on the Labrador side of the Strait of Belle Isle. This strait separates the island of Newfoundland from the rest of the Canadian mainland. Point Amour is located at the narrowest point, and the channel is only 17 km wide. Forteau Point, located to the southwest of Point Amour, also extends into the strait. These points of land (rounded headlands) concentrate migrating seabirds and waterfowl as they move along the coast. As a result, very large numbers of birds move through a relatively small area, although few stop for an extended period of time. The marine area off of these points has strong currents, and the tidal rips occasionally attract seabirds and whales during the summer and fall. Large numbers of Harp seals are also present during migration.


n 1996, the Canadian Wildlife Service and others monitored spring migration at this site. Although they monitored movements for only a portion of the migration, they recorded tremendous numbers of birds. A total of 62,275 migrating Common Eiders flying by was recorded between April 19th and May 24th. Most of these birds were likely from the northern (ssp. borealis) population although there were undoubtedly a number from the dresseri population as well (large concentrations of dresseri nest in St. Johns Bay and Table Bay to the north). The peak movement occurred between May 8 and May 14: a total of 38,414 eiders was recorded.

During the same period, 5,465 Black Guillemots, approximately 2% of the worlds estimated population, was also recorded. A peak count was made on May 20 (1,350). Although it was not possible for the observers to identify the larger black and white alcids (Thick-billed Murre, Common Murre, or Razorbills) a total of 43,758 was recorded (peak of 13,015 on May 14). Most of the birds that were close enough to identify were Razorbills.

Other species of seaducks were recorded in relatively low numbers: only 398 scoters were seen. Most of these birds were observed on the last few days of the monitoring period. It is likely that larger numbers migrate through the strait late in May or in early June. Perhaps surprisingly, just seven Harlequin Ducks were observed during the monitoring period.

Fall migration at this site is likely equally impressive. However, no surveys have been completed at this time of the year.

Enjeux de conservation

The important habitat at this site is primarily the offshore area of the Strait of Belle Isle, which is a major shipping area that links North America to Europe. The threat of oil pollution, from both illegal discharges and large-scale oil spills, is a constant concern. Several spills in the vicintiy have proven disastrous to seabirds.

Catégories ZICO Habitats Usages Menaces Potencielles ou Existantes Status de Protection
Eider à duvet
Nombre Année Saison
62 2751996Printemps
Mergule nain
Nombre Année Saison
14 - 802018Hiver
Petit Pingouin
Nombre Année Saison
3 0002016Été
Guillemot à miroir
Nombre Année Saison
1 350 - 5 4651996Printemps
Oiseaux aquatiques
Nombre Année Saison
62 2751996Printemps