Seymour Island (Nunavut)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Seymour Island
Location Northern Canada
Coordinates 76°48′04″N 101°16′08″W / 76.801°N 101.269°W / 76.801; -101.269 (Seymour Island)Coordinates: 76°48′04″N 101°16′08″W / 76.801°N 101.269°W / 76.801; -101.269 (Seymour Island)
Archipelago Queen Elizabeth Islands
Canadian Arctic Archipelago
Area 2 km2 (0.77 sq mi)
Highest elevation 28 m (92 ft)
Territory Nunavut
Region Qikiqtaaluk
Population Uninhabited

Seymour Island is an uninhabited island in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of northern Canada's territory of Nunavut. A member of the Berkeley Islands group, it is located approximately 30 mi (48 km) north of northern Bathurst Island. Between Seymour Island and Bathurst Island lies Helena Island. Penny Strait is nearby.

Less than 3 km (1.9 mi) long, it rises approximately 28 m (92 ft) above sea level, and is approximately 2 km2 (0.77 sq mi) in size.[1] The island is characterized by raised beaches, coastal sand dunes, gravel ridges, and freshwater ponds. Though polynyas form in the area, the island is commonly ice locked.[2]

Fauna and flora[edit]

Vegetation is sparse, consisting primarily of mosses and lichens.

The island is frequented by polar bear, and less commonly, the Arctic wolf and Arctic fox.[1]

Birds include brant goose, snowy owl, parasitic jaeger, long-tailed jaeger, pomarine jaeger, and common raven.[1] Thayer's gull and glaucous gull are to be found here also, but the island is most notable for ivory gull, found on Seymour Island from May to September.[2] The gulls of Seymour Island breed on raised beaches unlike other Canadian ivory gull colonies.[3] The island supports Canada’s largest known ivory gulls breeding colony, approximately 10-12 percent of the known Canadian population. In 2005, Gilchrist and Mallory postulated that Seymour Island gulls may represent forty percent of the surviving Canadian population of this species. The Seymour Island population represents approximately one percent of the world population of ivory gulls.[3]

Protected areas[edit]

The Seymour Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary, established in 1975, is 2800 hectares in size, including the island and surrounding waters. The migratory bird sanctuary is part of the Seymour Island Important Bird Area (No. NU045).[4] The island is also an International Biological Programme Site (No. 1-7), and a Key Marine Habitat Site in Nunavut (No. 2).[2][3]


  1. ^ a b c O'Briain, Michael; Austin Reed; Stewart D. Macdonald (December 1998). "Breeding, Moulting, and Site Fidelity of Brant (Branta bernicla) on Bathurst and Seymour Islands in the Canadian High Arctic" (PDF). Arctic. 51 (4): 352. doi:10.14430/arctic1078. 
  2. ^ a b c "NU Site 4 – Seymour Island" (PDF). p. 45. Retrieved 25 August 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "Seymour Island". Bird Studies Canada. Retrieved 25 August 2010. 
  4. ^ "Nunavut Migratory Bird Sanctuary Facts". Environment Canada. Retrieved 25 August 2010.