Île du Corossol Migratory Bird Sanctuary

The Corossol Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) is located south of Sept-Îles, in Québec. Many seabirds use it to nest.

Importance of the sanctuary: migratory birds and other wildlife

The Île du Corossol Migratory Bird Sanctuary, located on the North Shore in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, 10 kilometres south of Sept-Îles, was established in 1937 to protect seabirds during their nesting season. This sanctuary provides important nesting grounds for several colonial bird species.

Photo of a Common eider
Common eider. Photo: Jean-François Rail

This island was once home for the most important colonies of black-legged kittiwakes, herring gulls, great black-backed gulls and double-crested cormorants of all the Côte-Nord sanctuaries. These species have suffered a decreased in numbers since the 1980s but are still present by the hundreds. However, many other species, such as razorbills, common murres and eiders have seen an increase in number since and are the most abundant on the island.  Species such as black guillemots, Atlantic puffin, great blue herons and one of Quebec's rare colonies of Leach's storm-petrel also rely on the sanctuary.


This 364-hectare protected area, located in the Sept-Îles archipelago, includes Corossol Island itself along with all islets, rocks and waters within a 500-metre radius surrounding the island. The exception to this is the water between Corossol and Manowin Islands where the sanctuary’s boundary extends halfway between the two islands.

Corossol Island's shoreline. Photo: Jean-François Rail

As is the case for all of the islands in the Sept-Îles archipelago, Corossol Island is composed of granite and gneiss. This rocky island has an elevation of 59 metres and approximately 80% of it is vegetated by balsam fir forest with mixed stands of white birch and white spruce as is typical of the North Shore. The island is bordered by a strip of rocks and the depressions on the island allow for other wetter types of habitats where plants such as serviceberry and balsam fir grow.

Did you know?

The black-backed gull feeds near the shore. It nests in small colonies in cliff faces, crevices and crannies of talus slopes.

Map of the area

Map of Île du Corossol Migratory Bird Sanctuary
  • Long description

    Map showing the location of the Corossol Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) in relation to Québec, Manowin Island, Corossol Ilsand, Petite Basque and Saint-Lawrence Gulf. The map shows the boundaries of the refuge, which enclose Corossol Island and the surrounding waters. The scale of the map is in kilometers. Permanent waters and the intertidal zone are shown on the map. An inset shows the location of the shelter in Canada.

Access to the sanctuary

Migratory Bird Sanctuaries, such as Île du Corossol, are established across the country to protect migratory birds during critical periods of their migration. Whether these areas are used for feeding, resting or nesting, they play an important role in the survival of many species. Please ensure that you are aware of how, as a visitor, you can help protect this sanctuary and, before accessing the site, please read the restrictions, including those on firearms and hunting, that are in place to conserve the wildlife that call it home. It is also important to remember that pets are not welcome inside Migratory Bird Sanctuaries.

If you would like further information on what is permitted in Migratory Bird Sanctuaries, please visit the Management and Activities section of the website. For more information on Île du Corossol Migratory Bird Sanctuary in particular, please contact our regional office.

Key facts about Île du Corossol Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Protected Area designation Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Province or territory Québec
Latitude/longitude 50° 5' 24" N 66° 23' 8" W
Size 364 hectares
Date created (Gazetted) 1937
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) management category Strict Nature Reserve (Ia)
Additional designations Corossol Island Important Bird Area
Main habitat type Balsam Fir forest with stands of white birch and white spruce, scrubland and peatland
Key bird species Common eider, razorbill, common murre
Other species Birds: Double-crested cormorant, great black-backed gull, herring gull, black guillemot, leach's storm-petrel, black-legged kittiwake, Atlantic puffin, and great blue heron.
Plants: Balsam fir, white birch, white spruce, serviceberry
Listed species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) None
Management agency Canadian Wildlife Service, Quebec Region

Related links

Île du Corossol Migratory Bird Sanctuary on Google Maps (Please note that the Google maps is a complementary source of information and does not represent the official map or site name)

Contact information

Environment and Climate Change Canada – Quebec Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas Section
801-1550, avenue d'Estimauville
Québec, Quebec G1J 0C3

Toll Free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
Email: ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca

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