Montmagny Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Photo of Marsh habitat in the Montmagny Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Photo: Matthieu Allard © Environment and Climate Change Canada. Marsh habitat in the Montmagny Migratory Bird Sanctuary.

The Montmagny Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) borders the south shore of the St. Lawrence River in Montmagny. Located in the Upper Estuary of the St. Lawrence, the sanctuary is bordered to the north and the south by the high and low water lines and to the east by the Rivière Du Sud. Tides have a major impact on the vegetation of the sanctuary.

Established in 1986, this 122 hectare protected area is defined mainly by wetlands and brackish water. The substantial accumulation of sediment in this area has led to the formation of large mudflats and the development of both aquatic and terrestrial herbaceous habitats. Although the aquatic herbaceous habitat consists predominantly of American Bulrush, other species, notably Wild Rice, Water Parsnip and Arrowhead, are also present. Closer to the shore, Giant Bur-reed, Joe-pye Weed, Purple Loosestrife and Reed Canarygrass are examples of other established herbaceous plants.

Importance of the Migratory Bird Sanctuary

The Montmagny MBS is recognized as an important staging area for the Greater Snow Goose and several species of duck. Surveys carried out during the fall migrations of 1999 and 2001 recorded numbers of between 15 000 and 37 000 Greater Snow Geese and close to 1000 dabbling ducks. Aside from the Greater Snow Goose, the Northern Pintail is the most abundant species, followed by the American Black Duck and the Green-winged Teal. Other species of waterfowl found in the sanctuary, albeit in smaller numbers, include Mallards, Blue-winged Teals, Ring-necked Ducks and Canada Geese. Several species of shorebirds also use the site during migration. In addition, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Dunlins, Spotted Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs and White-Rumped Sandpipers have been observed in the Montmagny area.

Species such as the Green-winged Teal, American Black Duck and Mallard use the sanctuary during breeding 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 Montmagny 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

  • Map of Montmagny Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Long description for the Map

Map showing the location of Montmagny Migratory Bird Sanctuary relative to Quebec, Montmagny, Rivière du Sud and the St. Lawrence River. The map shows the boundaries of the sanctuary, which runs along the coast near Montmagny and extends into the St. Lawrence River. 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. Montmagny 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 Montmagny Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Category Information
Protected Area designation Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Province or territory Quebec
Latitude/longitude 46° 59' 30" N 70° 33' 30" W
Size in hectares (ha) 122 ha
Date created (Gazetted) 1986
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) management category III - Natural Monument or Feature
Additional designations Montmagny Important Bird Area
Main habitat type Herbaceous meadows
Key bird species Greater Snow Goose
Other species Birds: Semipalmated Sandpiper, Northern Pintail, Spotted Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, White-rumped Sandpiper, Green-winged Teal, American Black Duck and Mallard Plants: American Bulrush, Wild Rice and Arrowhead
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)
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