Mackenzie River IBAs
Seven IBAs along the Mackenzie River-critical to hundreds of thousands of migrating birds-will be irreparably damaged if the Mackenzie Gas Project develops as proposed.
The Mackenzie River, with its headstreams, snakes 4,241 km through marshes, meadows, forests, and mudflats to an immense island-dotted delta. This powerful force of nature drains 1.8 million km2 of land and delivers 9,700 cubic metres of freshwater into the Arctic Ocean every second.
This vast wilderness is the spring feeding ground for abundant Lesser Snow Geese and Tundra Swans. It is the summer home of Arctic Terns, Greater White-fronted Geese, and Red-throated Loons. It is the critical fall rest stop for Brant and Pectoral Sandpipers.
The 623-square-kilometre Kendall Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary is located at the northern tip of the Mackenzie River Delta, part of a globally significant breeding and staging ground for over 60,000 shorebirds, such as Red-necked Phalaropes, Whimbrels, and Lesser Golden Plovers. Established in 1961, Kendall Island is the only federally protected area in the Mackenzie Delta.As a largely intact ecosystem, this poorly-studied region is equally critical for a diversity of large mammal populations, from grazing Barren-ground Caribou to calving Beluga Whales.
The entire Mackenzie Valley is now threatened by Canada’s biggest natural gas pipeline project ever. The multi-billion dollar Mackenzie Gas Project (MGP) would bring three major natural gas production fields north of Inuvik and two underground natural gas pipelines (the longest is 1,220 km) to carry gas south along the Mackenzie Valley to northern Alberta.
If unstopped, the proposed project will permanently damage the region’s vast breeding and staging grounds—possibly even sinking the Kendall Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary! Nature Canada has testified on the failures of the Project’s Environmental Impact Statement, and we’ll keep fighting to stop the Project on legal grounds. We have joined with conservationists across Canada in declaring the Mackenzie WILD and raising national awareness of what the world has at stake in Canada’s longest and wildest river.
For more information visit these Web sites:
Download more fact sheets about Canada’s IBAs or call 1-800-267-4088 ext. 241 to request one.