Île à la Brume migratory bird sanctuary

Île à la Brume Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Photo: Patrick Labonté © Environment and Climate Change Canada. Île à la Brume Migratory Bird Sanctuary.

The Île à la Brume Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) is located on the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, east of the village of La Romaine. The MBS contains dozens of islands, islets and emergent rocks, and also includes Île à la Brume, located further offshore. It encompasses waters within a 3 km radius surrounding the island and extends beyond this reach to the north.

Established in 1925 to safeguard an important nesting site for the Common Eider, this 3789 hectare protected area consists mainly of marine waters. The landscape of the terrestrial part of this site is tundra with stunted conifers and rocky outcrops. Several small ponds help to diversify the area. Being continually windswept, Île à la Brume has very little vegetation.

Importance of the Migratory Bird Sanctuary

The Île à la Brume MBS is an essential nesting site for a variety of seabirds. According to 2010 inventories, the nesting population of Common Eider was estimated at approximately 800 pairs, making this the most common species found in the sanctuary. The same census marked the Herring Gull (422 pairs) as the second most sighted bird. Smaller numbers of other species also use the protected area during nesting season. These species include the Great Black-backed Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Black Guillemot, Razorbill, Red-Throated Loon, and Common and Arctic Terns. The Île à la Brume MBS remains the only site in the province where the endangered Caspian Tern regularly nests, albeit more sporadically since the 1990s.

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 Île à la Brume 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.

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

  • Map of Île à la Brume Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Long description for the Map

Map showing the location of l'Île-à-la-Brume Migratory Bird Sanctuary relative to Quebec, La Romaine, Île-à-la-Brume, Île Ten Kauitshiht, Havre Bluff and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The map shows the boundaries of the sanctuary, which covers Île-à-la-Brume and ÎleTen Kauitshiht as well as a portion of the surrounding 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. Île à la Brume 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 Île à la Brume Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Category Information
Protected Area designation Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Province or territory Quebec
Latitude/longitude 50° 10' 10" N 60° 30' 15" W
Size in hectares (ha) 3789 ha
Date created (Gazetted) 1925
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) management category Ia - Strict Nature Reserve
Additional designations None
Main habitat type Tundra and stunted conifers
Key bird species Common Eider, Herring Gull, Caspian Tern, Ring-billed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Razorbill, Common Tern, Arctic Tern and Red-Throated Loon
Listed species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) None
Management agency Canadian 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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