Sable Island Institute

The Sable Island Institute’s mission is to support and promote the protection and conservation of the natural and cultural values of Sable Island through research, collaboration, and education. The Institute is a multidisciplinary not-for-profit organization based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Sable Island is an isolated and unique landform located far off the east coast of Canada—the nearest landfall is 156 km away. Surrounded by the waters of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean, the Island is exposed to winds, storms, waves and swell coming from every direction. It is home to a population of wild horses, and supports colonies of breeding seals and nesting seabirds. Throughout the year there are four to five people working and living on the island. The human population increases periodically with the arrival of researchers, artists, and other visitors. In 2013, the island was designated as the Sable Island National Park Reserve.
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Welcome to Our Website

This website is in development. It has the benefit of an enthusiastic group of contributors who are sharing memoirs, personal perspectives, and images. As this site develops, featured articles, reviews and posts will present resources and information on the island’s natural history, research and monitoring programs, arts and culture, management and operations, community, visitors, and general goings-on. In addition to new content, some items from the Green Horse Society’s website are being updated and moved into the Institute’s site.

We thank the Halifax Regional Municipality for funding (through a Program Grant in the Cultural Communities Sector), and the Friends of the Green Horse Society for funding and expertise, in support of our website project. The Institute’s logo was designed by Rand Gaynor, Halifax.


  • I went to Sable Island. A land of magic. It had to do with luck. I was a member of the Read by the Sea committee casting about for a fundraiser; someone thought of Sable Island. That was ten years ago.

  • To really understand animals, we need to know them as individuals. Bird legs provide a flagpole for coloured bands that can be seen from many metres away and enable researchers to track individual birds.

  • These public consultations are an opportunity for all Canadians to get involved & help influence the future of Sable Island National Park Reserve. Share your views, stories and ideas before December 9th!

  • During autumn, the island’s landscape becomes a tapestry of silvery-white, pale yellow, tan, amber, buffy, sienna, orange, red and purple, with the bright greens of juniper and crowberry woven throughout.


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