L'Isle-Verte Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Importance of the Migratory Bird Sanctuary | Access and Activities | Map of the Area | Summary Table | Contact Information

 Photo of Tidal marsh
Photo: Christine Lepage © Environment and Climate Change Canada. Tidal marsh.

L'Isle-Verte Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) is located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence Estuary, near the municipality of L'Isle-Verte, east of Rivière-du-Loup. The MBS, part of which is located in the heart of the Baie de L'Isle-Verte National Wildlife Area (NWA), extends along the shoreline bordering the saline waters of the St. Lawrence River. Its main feature is an expansive marsh, riddled with brackish ponds. At L'Isle-Verte, this marsh can extend over one kilometre offshore at low tide.

The 376 hectare MBS was established in 1986, principally to safeguard waterfowl during migration season. This protected site consists of a succession of different environments. Between the estuarine waters and the alder grove lies a tidal marsh formed of Salt-meadow Cordgrass and Salt-meadow Grass. The site also includes some farmland.

Importance of the Migratory Bird Sanctuary

The diversity of habitats within the MBS attracts a large number of avian species all year round.

During spring migration, the Northern Pintail, Mallard, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged and Blue-winged Teals are the most common species of Duck found at the site. The sanctuary, along with the Baie de L'Isle-Verte NWA, is one of the most important breeding sites for the American Black Duck. It is also a staging area for Greater Snow Geese, Canada Geese and numerous other ducks. The American Black Duck nests in the higher area of the marsh, shrub land edges, water bodies and neighbouring peatland. During the rearing period, the marsh supports the brood, as the brackish ponds and vegetation are teeming with insects and act to isolate the different broods from each other. Common Eider crèches are also present from June to August.

Several other species have been observed in the area during nesting season, including the Short-eared Owl, certain species of warblers, like the Common Yellowthroat, and several species of sparrows, such as the White-throated Sparrow and the Song Sparrow. Nelson's Sparrows and Savannah Sparrows also nest in the site.

Shorebirds recorded in and around the MBS include the Whimbrel, Greater Yellowlegs, Black-bellied Plover, Spotted Sandpiper, Hudsonian Godwit, Wilson's Snipe, Pectoral Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper and Semipalmated Sandpiper.

Access and Activities

MBSs are established for the protection and conservation of migratory birds. Activities that could harm migratory birds, their nests or their eggs are prohibited.

MBSs can be and have been established on private, provincial, territorial and federally owned lands. Access to each MBS varies by site and is at the discretion of the landowner and land manager.

Where MBSs are located on federal land, Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the management and protection of migratory birds, nests, eggs and habitat. Where MBSs are located on provincial land, Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the protection of migratory birds and their nests, while the chief game officer of the province is responsible for the management of habitat. Where MBSs are located on private or municipal land, Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the protection of migratory birds and their nests. Habitat management is the responsibility of the landowner.

The standard prohibitions under the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations apply to L'Isle-Verte MBS: hunting migratory birds is prohibited, and no person shall disturb, destroy or take the nest of a migratory bird or have in his or her possession a live migratory bird, or a carcass, skin, nest or egg of a migratory bird, except under the authority of a permit issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada or unless specifically authorized by the Regulations. Possession of firearms or other hunting appliances is prohibited, and dogs and cats must not be allowed to run at large.

Access denial or restrictions imposed by the owners of land within the MBS may also apply.

For more information on entry, activities and permits in MBSs, please visit the Management and Activities section of the Migratory Bird Sanctuaries website. For more information on protected areas managed by Environment and Climate Change Canada in Quebec, please contact the regional office.

For greater certainty, nothing in this document shall be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from the protection provided for existing Aboriginal or treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada by the recognition and affirmation of those rights in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Map of the Area

Long description for the Map

Map showing the location of L'Isle-Verte Migratory Bird Sanctuary relative to Quebec, L'Isle-Verte, Île Verte, Baie de L'Isle-Verte National Wildlife Area and the St. Lawrence River. The map shows the boundaries of sanctuary, which overlaps with a section of the Baie de l'Isle-Verte National Wildlife Area and extends into the water. The scale of the map is in kilometers.

This map is for illustrative purposes only and should not be used to define legal boundaries. L'Isle Verte Migratory Bird Sanctuary can also be viewed using Google Maps. Please note that the Google map is a complementary source of information and does not represent the official map or site name.

Summary table

Summary Table for L'Isle-Verte Migratory Bird Sanctuary
CategoryInformation
Protected Area designationMigratory Bird Sanctuary
Province or territoryQuebec
Latitude/longitude48° 01' N 69° 21' W
Size in hectares (ha)376 ha
Date created (Gazetted)1986
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) management categoryIV Habitat/Species Management Area
Additional designations
Main habitat typeDiversity of habitats: estuarine waters, alder grove, tidal marsh of Salt-meadow Cordgrass, Salt-meadow Grass prairie
Key bird speciesAmerican Black Duck, Greater Snow Goose
Other species

Birds: Canada Goose, Whimbrel, Greater Yellowlegs, Black-bellied Plover, Spotted Sandpiper, Hudsonian Godwit, Wilson's Snipe, Pectoral Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Northern Pintail, Mallard, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Nelson's Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Common Eider, Double-crested Cormorant, Short-eared Owl, Common Yellowthroat, White-throated Sparrow and Song Sparrow

Mammals: Snowshoe Hare, Raccoon, Striped Skunk, Muskrat and Short-tailed Shrew

Amphibians: American Toad, Spring Peeper, Wood Frog, Leopard Frog

Fish: Blackspotted Stickleback, Threespine Stickleback, Ninespine Stickleback

Plants: Alder, Salt-meadow Grass, Salt-meadow Cordgrass, Prairie Cordgrass

Listed species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA)Short-eared Owl
Management agencyCanadian Wildlife Service, Quebec Region

Contact Information

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Quebec Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas Unit
801-1550, avenue d'Estimauville
9250 - 49th Street
Québec, Quebec G1J 0C3
Toll Free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
Email: ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca
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