Saint-Omer Migratory Bird Sanctuary

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

Saint-Omer Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Photo: Benoît Jobin © Environment and Climate Change Canada. Saint-Omer Migratory Bird Sanctuary.

The Saint-Omer Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) is located in Chaleur Bay, on the Gaspé Peninsula, in the municipality of Carleton-sur-Mer. The sanctuary covers the entire inner cove, stretching over 1.5 km, as well as a portion of the sand bank to the southwest. The entire inner cove is covered by water at high tide, gradually giving way to a vast expanse of sand as the tide recedes.

Established in 1986 to safeguard an important nesting site for gulls and terns, this 56 hectare protected area comprises a dune and a herbaceous meadow, the latter being completely flooded at high tide.

Importance of the Migratory Bird Sanctuary

The Saint-Omer MBS is an important nesting site for colonial birds, such as gulls. An inventory conducted in 2008 confirmed that the most commonly found species in the sanctuary was the Ring-billed Gull, with 4726 birds being recorded. The same inventory concluded that large numbers of Herring Gulls (1116 individuals) and Great Black-backed Gulls (274 individuals) were among the most abundant species in the site. Other bird species observed in the MBS include the Great Blue Heron, Osprey, Black-crowned Night Heron and several species of shorebirds, including Lesser Yellowlegs.

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 Saint-Omer 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 Saint-Omer Migratory Bird Sanctuary relative to Quebec, Saint-Omer, Île Laviolette, Bassin de la Rivière Nouvelle and Baie des Chaleurs. The map shows the boundaries of the sanctuary, which covers a section of Île Laviolette as well as a portion of the surrounding water. The scale of the map is in hundreds of meters.

This map is for illustrative purposes only and should not be used to define legal boundaries. Saint-Omer NWA 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 Saint-Omer Migratory Bird Sanctuary
CategoryInformation
Protected Area designationMigratory Bird Sanctuary
Province or territoryQuebec
Latitude/longitude48° 6' 30" N 66° 14' 00" W
Size in hectares (ha)56 ha
Date created (Gazetted)1986
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) management categoryIII - Natural Monument or Feature
Additional designationsNone
Main habitat typeSand dune and herbaceous meadow
Key bird speciesRing-billed Gull, Herring Gull and Great Black-backed Gull
Other speciesBirds: Great Blue Heron, Osprey, Black-crowned Night Heron and Lesser Yellowlegs.
Listed species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA)None
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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