KEY NORTH AMERICAN MIGRATION SITES FOR
Red Knots & Semipalmated Sandpipers

Bay of Fundy

New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada

The food-rich mudflats of the Bay of Fundy annually support nearly 30% of the world’s population of Semipalmated Sandpipers, in addition to thousands of other Arctic-breeding shorebirds, during fall migration.

While two sections of the Upper Bay of Fundy—Shepody Bay and Minas Basin—were designated as a Site of Hemispheric Importance under the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN), in 1987–88, recent research has identified two additional sections (Cumberland Basin and Cobequid Bay) as equally critical shorebird habitat, although they are not currently part of the WHSRN site.

Key objectives

Key objectives for this project site were the proposing of new boundaries for an expanded WHSRN site, and building stakeholder support to include these new areas. Local partners compiled and analyzed recent research on shorebird abundance and distribution in the Bay of Fundy in order to delineate new boundaries for an expanded WHSRN Landscape of Hemispheric Importance site. They also met with stakeholders who have direct land-management authority in the proposed expansion area, and with interested academic and NGO stakeholders.

Other CEC-supported activities

Other CEC-supported activities at the Bay of Fundy WHSRN site included evaluating human-use patterns at four key resting sites used by thousands of shorebirds during peak migration in the Minas Basin, and planning for shorebird habitat conservation. Disturbance from intense summer recreational pressures poses serious risks for shorebirds, as they have only a short period to build adequate energy reserves to complete their long migration. The work carried out at these vital shorebird sites will help develop effective conservation strategies and will improve communications with recreational users, advancing the goal of fostering long-term shorebird stewardship.

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