Canada's Ocean, Freshwater & US

Machias Seal Island
Location: New Brunswick
Approximate Area: 1,035 hectares
Date of Designation: 1944
Conservation Objectives

To protect one of the most important seabird nesting colonies in the Gulf of Maine, which has supported over 100 different species of birds.


It is prohibited for the public to visit the island during the nesting season (June and July).

Why (environmental context for protection)

Machias Seal Island is a critical nesting sanctuary for many seabirds and landbirds. In recent years, the number of nesting birds on the island has declined due to, among other factors, the reduced availability of nearby food. Still, the island is home to a great deal of important seabird species, including Arctic and common terns, razorbills, and well over 1,000 pairs of Atlantic puffins. Landbirds include the savannah sparrow, spotted sandpiper, and tree swallow. Many birds stop on the island while migrating, meaning it is an essential resting point for numerous species.