L'Islet Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Photo of Greater Snow Geese
Photo: © Thinkstockphotos.ca. Greater Snow Geese.

L'Islet Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) is located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence Estuary, in the municipality of L'Islet. The majority of the sanctuary is in the St. Lawrence River, while its terrestrial part encompasses the wharf, as well as part of the wharf's road.

The site was established in 1986 to protect Greater Snow Geese and other species of waterfowl. This 59 hectare protected area is characterized by wetlands and brackish water. The sanctuary consists mainly of muddy sediment, rocky outcrops and herbaceous meadows. The latter is by far the most abundant (60 % of the MBS) and is predominantly vegetated by American Bulrush. The tide has a major impact on shoreline movement and on the area's vegetation.

Importance of the Migratory Bird Sanctuary

L'Islet MBS is recognized as an important migration area for Greater Snow Geese and many species of duck. Surveys conducted during fall migration have counted nearly 2000 pairs of Greater Snow Geese, several dozen dabbling ducks, Spotted Sandpipers, Killdeer and over 1800 Sandpipers, including more than 300 individual Semipalmated Sandpipers. The site also supports colonial species, among them the Double-crested Cormorant, the Common Eider and the Razorbill. The Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull and Great Black-backed Gull are other species observed in the area in the summer season.

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'Islet 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 s, 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 L'Isle-Verte Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Long description of 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'Islet 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'Islet Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Category Information
Protected Area designation Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Province or territory Quebec
Latitude/longitude 47° 7' 49" N 70° 22' 28" W
Size in hectares (ha) 59 ha
Date created ( Gazetted) 1986
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) management category III - Natural Monument or Feature
Additional designations L'Islet Important Bird Area
Main habitat type American Bulrush dominated herbaceous meadow
Key bird species Greater Snow Goose, Semipalmated Sandpiper, and Spotted Sandpiper.
Other species Birds: Sandpipers spp., Killdeer, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull and Great Black-backed Gull Plants: American Bulrush, Victorin's Water-hemlock, Eastern Wild Rice (dwarf variety)
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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