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Mary's Point is a 1,200 hectare wetland in New Brunswickmarker, Canadamarker. It is at the head of the Bay of Fundymarker, approximately 40 km south of Monctonmarker. Designated a Ramsar wetland of international importance on May 24, 1982, it is also part of the Fundy biosphere reserve established in 2007, which also contains the Shepody Baymarker wetland. It was also the first Canadian site in the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve, as part of the Bay of Fundy Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve. It is within the Shepody Bay National Wildlife Area, which is administered by the Canadian Wildlife Service.

Mary's Point is an important staging area for shorebirds migrating from the Canadian subarctic to South America during the fall, supporting up to two million Semipalmated Sandpipers annually, or nearly 75% of the global population of this species, as well as millions of birds of other species.

Approximately 940 hectares of the intertidal mudflats are under jurisdiction to the province of New Brunswick. Another 107 hectares are owned by the Government of Canada, including the "most critical sites used by the large roosting flocks of shorebirds during high tide". The remaining portion, covering most of the salt marsh, is privately owned. The federal government has attempted to purchase the land, but has been spurned.

The site was a stone quarry in the 1900s.

Geography

This open peninsula ranges in elevation from 2 m below sea level to 10 m above sea level, protruding into Shepody Bay. It is characterized by extensive intertidal mudflats, with gravel beaches bordering terrestrial habitats and shallow marine areas.

In 1979, Ducks Unlimited Canada established a 20 hectare waterfowl impoundment adjacent to the salt marsh.

Fauna

This site exhibits "the world's highest known density of the crustaceans Corophium volutator",, up to 60,000 per square metre during their reproductive cycle, which supports large populations of migratory shorebirds. During August, up to two million Semipalmated Sandpipers may use Mary's Point as a staging area, and as many as 200,000 may be present at any time during migration. These double their weight to 40 grams before continuing their migration by flying to the North Atlanticmarker, which winds carry them to the northern coast of South America in two to four days.

Thousands of birds of other species also use Mary's Point as a staging area, including the Black-bellied Plover, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Semipalmated Plover, Red Knot, Sanderling and Dunlin.

Also, small populations of American Black Duck, Ring-necked Duck and Blue-winged Teal breed at the impoundment established by Ducks Unlimited.

References

External links

  • Canada Gazette, Vol. 134, No 8 (April 12, 2000) - CANADA WILDLIFE ACT - Regulations Amending the Wildlife Area Regulations



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