Special Places


National Parks Reserve

There are no National Parks in the area covered by the AESD but there are two National Park Reserves: Ellesmere Island and Auyuittuq (Baffin Island). These reserves are areas of land set aside for national parks pending completion of the planning and approval phases. Under the National Parks Act, no aircraft landings are permitted without the permission of the park superintendent. There are no restrictions, however, on aircraft overflights or on the passage of ships.

National Wildlife Areas

One National Wildlife Area is located in the area covered by AESD: Polar Bear Pass (Bathurst Island). Two more National Wildlife Areas are to be established: Nirjutiqavvik (Coburg Island) and Igalirtuuq (Isabella Bay, Baffin Island). Access to these areas is governed by the Wildlife Area Regulations under the Canadian Wildlife Act. Permits are required to undertake any activity in a Wildlife Area, including landing an aircraft. Under Transport Canada guidelines on sensitive areas, aircraft are required to maintain a vertical distance of 1000 feet. Ships are not permitted to enter Wildlife Areas except in emergencies.

Migratory Bird Sanctuaries

There are nine Migratory Bird Sanctuaries in the Lancaster Sound and Coronation Gulf areas:

Seymour Island
East Bay
Queen Maud Gulf
Harry Gibbons
Bylot Island
McConnell River
Dewey Soper Prince
Leopold Island
Cape Dorset

Access to these areas is governed by the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations under the Migratory Birds Convention Act. Beneficiaries of the Nunavut Final Agreement have free and unrestricted access. Other persons require a permit to undertake any activity, including landing an aircraft. Aircraft that fly close to the breeding cliffs should maintain a vertical distance of 1 km and horizontal distances of 1 km inland and 5 km seaward of the colony. Where there are no cliffs, Transport Canada guidelines require aircraft to maintain a vertical distance of 1000 feet. Ships are not permitted to enter Migratory Bird Sanctuaries except in emergencies.

In addition to those listed above, there are the following important sites:

Key Migratory Bird Terrestrial Habitat Sites:
Lancaster Sound
Coronation Gulf
Key Migratory Bird Marine Habitat Sites:
Lancaster Sound
Coronation Gulf

Wildlife Sanctuaries

There is one Wildlife Sanctuary in the area covered by the AESD: Bowman Bay (Baffin Island). This sanctuary is established by the Wildlife Sanctuaries Regulations under the Northwest Territories Wildlife Act. There are no restrictions on shipping or aircraft operations in Wildlife Sanctuaries.

Other Areas

In addition to the areas described above which have current legal status, there are a number of other areas which have been proposed for one of these designations or have been given other non-legal status because of their importance for wildlife. These areas are listed below.

  • Proposed National Parks
North Baffin
Wager Bay
Bluenose/Tuktut Nogait
Bathurst Island
  • Canadian Heritage Rivers
Soper River
Coppermine River (proposed)
  • Key Migratory Bird Marine Habitat Sites
Cardigan Strait
Creswell Bay, Somerset Is.
Cumberland Sound
East Hudson Strait
East Lancaster Sound
Jones Sound
Lambert Channel.
Queen's Channel
West Hudson Strait
West Lancaster Sound
  • Priority Sites for Designation as Protected Areas (Canadian Wildlife Service)
Creswell Bay, Somerset Is.
Cape Searle, Baffin Is.
Reid Bay, Baffin Is.
Foxe Basin Islands
Rasmussen Lowlands
Coats Island
Digges Island
Akpatok Island
  • RAMSAR Sites (Wetlands of International Significance) (Canadian Wildlife Service)
Dewey Soper Migratory Bird Sanctuary
McConnell River Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Polar Bear Pass National Wildlife Area
Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Rasmussen Lowlands
  • Migration Bird Terrestrial Habitat Sites
Seymour Island
Polar Bear Pass, Bathurst Is.
Cheyne Islands
Browne Island
Baillie-Hamilton Island
North Kent Is. and Calf Is.
Cape Vera, Devon Is.
Skruis Point, Devon Is.
Cape Liddon, Devon Is.
Hobhouse Inlet, Devon Is.
Coburg Is. (Nirjutiqavvik)
Prince Leopold Island
Batty Bay, Somerset Is.
Creswell Bay, Somerset Is.
Northwest Brodeur Peninsula
Berlinguet Inlet, Brodeur Pen.
Baillarge Bay, Baffin Is.
Cape Hay, Bylot Is.
South Bylot Island
Cape Graham Moore, Bylot Is.
Buchan Gulf, Baffin Is.
Scott Inlet, Baffin Is.
Abbajalik and Ijuntuk Is., Baffin Is.
Cape Searle, Baffin Is.
Reid Bay, Baffin Is.
North Spicer Island, Foxe Basin
Foxe Basin Islands
Great Plain of the Koukjuak, Baffin Is.
Jenny Lind Island, Queen Maud Gulf
Queen Maud Gulf MBS
Lower Back River, Chanterey Inlet
Rasmussen Lowlands,.Rasmussen Basin
McConnell River
Turton Island, Foxe Basin
Boas River
East Bay, Southampton Is.
Coats Island
Cape Dorset
Fraser Island, Foxe Channel
Digges Sound
Awrey Island, NE Hudson Bay
Hantzsch Island
Akpatok Island
Eider Islands, Ungava Bay
Plover and Payne Is., Ungava Bay
Gyrfalcon Islands, Ungava Bay
Northeast Ungava Bay
Koktac River Archipelago E. Hudson Bay
Fosheim Peninsula, Ellesmere, Is.
Mokka Fiord, Axel Heiberg Is.
Truelove Lowlands, Devon Is.
Maxwell Bay, Devon Is.
Bylot Island
Home Bay, Baffin Is.
Hoare Bay, Baffin Is.
Dewar Lakes, Baffin Is.
Coppermine River
Melville Sound
Hadley Bay, Victoria Is.
Gateshead Island, Larsen Sound
Back Lowland, Queen Maud G. MBS
Bellot Strait
Wrottesley Inlet, Boothia Peninsula
Ford Lake
Wager Bay
Rankin Inlet
NE Keewatin Caribou Calving
Ground, Wager Bay
Southampton Island
Foxe Peninsula
Meta Incognita Peninsula

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