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.
Read more…

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.


  • On summer solstice, samples of ocean water containing millions of microbes were collected from >100 sites worldwide in an international study of marine microbes and their key roles in ocean ecosystems.

  • A collection of photos taken over a three-month period—fresh grass and pea, spring flowers, foals and pups, seals crowding the beach, horses and birds, oddities washed ashore, and ever-shifting sand.

  • Leach’s Storm-petrels were first recorded nesting on Sable Island in July 1994. Their vocalizations are now part of the nighttime soundscape of summer as petrels circle and swoop bat-like in the dark.

  • Many dead herons and egrets—Yellow-crowned Night-heron, Cattle Egret, Great Egret, and Great Blue Heron—found during May, were likely part of an unusual mortality event on Sable Island in early spring.


Your generosity allows us to continue our important work.


Follow us on social media to stay on top of the Institute’s work.