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Cetacean habitat directory for MPAs and sanctuaries

Marine region number 2 MPA number 30

MPA Name (English) Niginganiq National Wildlife Area
MPA Name (Local) Niginganiq National Wildlife Area
Current Status Existing

Country CANADA
Location • Isabella Bay on Baffin Island, Nunavut, from coast out to 12nm (22km)
Size • 1298 sq mi (3362 sq km)

Cetacean name
(common)
• Jul–Sep: bowhead whale, killer whale, narwhal (migratory)
Cetacean name
(scientific)
• Jul–Sep: Balaena mysticetus, Orcinus orca, Monodon monoceros (migratory)
Other species • harp seals, ringed seals and polar bears

Rationale • First proposed for an MPA in 1987 by WWF-Canada and Clyde River community groups (original name: Igaliqtuuq National Wildlife area); now in process of probable designation with territorial, aboriginal and federal (Environment Canada) management under the Canada Wildlife Act as a NWA; a much more extensive marine-based area (extending N and S into Davis Strait) is also being proposed as a biosphere reserve.
• Proposed in part to protect critical habitat in Isabella Bay used by endangered Baffin Bay/Davis Strait bowhead whales for feeding and resting. Bowhead photo-ID work is being conducted, with studies of food availability and feeding ecology; conflicts may develop if oil and gas development are allowed in the critical bowhead whale habitat in the bay.

Post 2nd Edition
• Ninginganiq National Wildlife Area (NWA) was designated in 2010 and is the largest NWA in Canada, measuring over 3360 sq km.
• Ninginganiq NWA is managed by Environment Canada in partnership with the Ninginganiq Area Co-management Committee of Clyde River, Nunavut.
• Access to Ninginganiq NWA is restricted except for Nunavut beneficiaries. Beneficiaries can harvest wildlife (including collecting migratory bird eggs and feathers) for their economic, social and cultural needs.
Management plan
Management plan web link


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