Baie de l'Isle-Verte National Wildlife Area

Baie de L'Isle-Verte National Wildlife Area (NWA) covers a riparian strip running some 20 kilometres (km) on the south shore of the St. Lawrence Estuary northeast of Rivière-du-Loup. It protects coastal habitats and waterfowl.

Description

Environment Canada created this protected area of 568.71 hectares in 1980. The NWA protects the intertidal cordgrass marsh of L’Isle-Verte and coastal habitats that are important for waterfowl, particularly the American black duck, and other animal species. The L’Isle-Verte Marsh is one of the largest cordgrass marshes in southern Quebec. It is recognized as a Wetland of International Significance under the Ramsar Convention. Although the NWA only includes a section of the L’Isle-Verte Marsh, it forms a protective strip between this wetland and human pressures from the south. With its adjacent areas, the NWA is one of the most important nesting sites for the American black duck in Quebec.

Baie de l'Isle-Verte NWA

This NWA is composed of black spruce forest patches and habitat such as:

  • cordgrass marshes
  • swamps
  • farmlands
  • wildlands

The diversity of its habitats contributes to the year-round presence of a large number of animal species. More than 100 species of birds are found in this territory, a large proportion of which are possibly breeding. The NWA is also home to several species at risk, or of precarious status, such as the peregrine falcon, short-eared owl, bobolink and nelson’s sparrow.

Thousands of migratory birds pass through the wildlife area every spring and fall, amongst them are:

  • greater snow goose
  • Canada goose
  • American black duck
  • green-winged teal
  • northern pintail
  • common eider
  • scoters
Image of American black ducks
American black ducks. Photo: Daniel Bordage

Shorebirds abundant during migration include dunlin, semipalmated sandpiper, and least sandpiper.

Mammals found within the wildlife area is the hoary bat, a species of precarious status. Other species include:

  • snowshoe hare
  • American porcupine
  • red squirrel
  • woodchuck
  • red fox
  • muskrat
  • American mink

The wildlife area is exposed to a number of threats and management challenges, such as:

  • neighbouring land development
  • land drainage
  • presence of invasive alien species
  • the risk of oil spills in the St. Lawrence

More information on Baie de L'Isle-Verte NWA is provided in the summary table below.

Management

Under the Canada Wildlife Act, NWAs are protected and managed in accordance with the Wildlife Area Regulations. The primary purpose of NWAs is to protect and conserve wildlife and wildlife habitat. For this purpose and according to the legislation, all activities in a NWA that could interfere with the conservation of wildlife can be prohibited. Consequently, most NWAs are not accessible to the public and all other activities are prohibited in all NWAs. However, some activities may be authorized through Schedule I.1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations or the issuance of permits as long as they are consistent with the management plan goals for the NWA. For more information, consult the NWA Management and Activities section. You can also consult the Baie-de-L’Isle-Verte NWA management plan.

Any authorized activities are listed in Schedule I.1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations; signage is also posted at access points.

Authorized activities listed in Schedule I.1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations for Baie de L’Isle-Verte NWA, include:

  1. non-commercial wildlife viewing on designated trails and at lookouts and observation towers and in designated areas
  2. non-commercial hiking on designated trails
  3. participation in a non-commercial group meal or non-commercial group event involving 15 or more people in designated areas
  4. non-commercial operation of a vehicle, other than a snowmobile or an all-terrain vehicle, on designated roads and in designated parking areas
  5. non-commercial snowshoeing on designated trails
  6. sport hunting of migratory birds — including with dogs off-leash — without a commercial guide, from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset in designated areas, if the hunting is carried out
    1. in accordance with any applicable federal permit and any authorization required by the laws of Quebec for sport hunting in that province; and
    2. without the use of toxic shot

Hunting for migratory birds is permitted in the fall within the wildlife area with required permits, with the exception of the following areas:

  • Salicorne facilities (des Vases River)
  • Roitelet
  • Soucy-Duvetnor
  • du Quai and Aboiteau Girard wildlife enhancement works
  • an agricultural parcel located east of du Quai road
  • l’Isle-Verte Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Permits may be issued for research activities in keeping with the priorities set out in the management plan for the wildlife area or for conservation activities such as surveys, or the enhancement or restoration of habitat.

Priority will be given to collaborative activities with local agencies and organizations to promote the protection and the conservation of wildlife species and their habitats in the NWA. For example, initiatives could be launched or continued with the following entities:

  • universities or research centers to address gaps in scientific knowledge
  • the province to implement recovery measures for species at risk (particularly those falling under provincial jurisdiction)
  • non-governmental organizations or municipal authorities to build public awareness of the wildlife area's objectives

More information on access and permitting for Baie de L'Isle-Verte NWA can be obtained by contacting the Environment and Climate Change Canada regional office.

Notice from Environment and Climate Change Canada

Public notice - Gros-Cacouna Marsh Birding Site

Environment and Climate Change Canada wishes to inform the public about the rules for using the Gros-Cacouna Marsh Birding Site to ensure the conservation of wildlife and their habitats as well as the safety of users.

Hiking, nature observation and photography are permitted at this site in the following designated areas: trails, towers and observation decks. These activities are prohibited outside the designated areas.
To protect this site, it is prohibited to:

  • fish
  • hunta
  • destroy or remove a plant
  • walk off the trailsb
  • allow any domestic animal to run at large
  • swim, camp or light a fire
  • picnic, except in designated areas (tables, benches)
  • undertake an unauthorized activity
  • use any means of transportation, except on the access road to the parking lot
  • remove, damage or destroy any poster, sign or other structure
  • dump or deposit any waste material

a Migratory bird hunting is authorized, in accordance with the regulations, in the portion of the marsh’s southwest pond indicated on the attached map (125 m from the dike) from behind temporary blinds and from sunrise until 2 p.m. on the dates set out each year in the Migratory Birds Hunting Regulations for the Quebec region, namely:

  • Waterfowler Heritage days
  • the first two weekends of the regular season
  • weekends after the last Friday of October, until the end of the migratory bird hunting season

b Hunters may walk to their hunting locations.

For more information or to report a problem, contact the Department’s Public Inquiries Centre at 1-800-668-6767 or at enviroinfo@ec.gc.ca.

This notice shall not be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from any Aboriginal treaty or other rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Plan your visit

Corporation PARC Bas-Saint-Laurent offers activities and services within Baie de L’Isle Verte NWA, including guided hiking tours, activities to build awareness of wildlife species habitat conservation, and welcome area and interpretation services at the Maison Girard.

Please contact that organization for additional information.

Special warnings

  • biting insects in summer
  • camping prohibited
  • dogs allowed on leash
  • waterfowl hunting in the fall

Location of wildlife area (access)

Several access points along Route 132, in L’Isle-Verte, about 30 kilometers east of Rivière-du-Loup.
Interpretation centre - Maison Girard
371, route 132
L'Isle-Verte (Quebec)
G0L 1K0

Tél. : 418-898-2757

More information on services offered to public can be obtained by contacting the Environment and Climate Change Canada regional office.

Map of the area

Map - See long description below

Map of Baie de L'Isle-Verte NWA

  • Long description 

    Map showing the area surrounding L'Île-Verte, Quebec, on the edge of the St. Lawrence River. The boundaries of Baie de L'Isle-Verte NWA, as well as those of L'Isle-Verte MBS, are indicated. The wildlife area is divided into multiple sections which follow parts of the shoreline between road 132 and the St. Lawrence River. The bird sanctuary overlaps in part with a terrestrial section of the wildlife area and extends into the St. Lawrence near L'Île-Verte. The scale on the map is in km. Permanent water, intertidal water and roads are all indicated on the map. A small inset national map situates the NWA in Canada.

This map is for illustrative purposes only and should not be used to define legal boundaries.

Summary table

Summary table of Baie de L'Isle-Verte NWA
Category Information
Protected are designation NWA
Province/Territory Quebec
Latitude/Longitude 48°01' North / 69°21' West
Size 568.71 ha
Reason for creation of protected area Protection of a cordgrass marsh and coastal habitats along the St. Lawrence Estuary to benefit various waterfowl species (particularly the American black duck and the snow goose) and other animal species.
Date created (Gazetted) 1980 – Legal description
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Management Category Habitat/Species Management Area – (IV): protected area aim to protect particular species or habitats and management reflects this priority
Additional designations
Keystone or flagship species
Listed Species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) At least six species listed under the Species At Risk Act, including the short-eared owl, peregrine falcon and least bittern. Nine species under the Quebec's Act Respecting Threatened or Vulnerable Species, such as nelson’s sparrow.
Main habitat type Tidal cordgrass marsh
Faunistic and floristic importance With adjacent areas, the wildlife area is one of the most important nesting sites for the American black duck in Québec. The area is also important for the Nelson's Sparrow, which could be designated as threatened or vulnerable by the provincial government. The site serves as a major staging area for the greater snow goose and the Canada goose.
Invasive species Common reed and purple loosestrife
Additional links Birds:

Mammals:

Main threats and challenges
  • impact of human activities
  • land fragmentation
  • neighbouring land development
  • land drainage
  • presence of invasive alien species
  • risk of oil spills associated with maritime transportation
Management Agency Environment and Climate Change Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service)
Public access and usage Authorized activities listed in Schedule I.1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations for Baie de L’Isle-Verte NWA, include:

Trails and at lookouts and observation towers and in designated areas

  1. non-commercial wildlife viewing on designated trails and at lookouts and observation towers and in designated areas
  2. non-commercial hiking on designated trails
  3. participation in a non-commercial group meal or non-commercial group event involving 15 or more people in designated areas
  4. non-commercial operation of a vehicle, other than a snowmobile or an all-terrain vehicle, on designated roads and in designated parking areas
  5. non-commercial snowshoeing on designated trails
  6. sport hunting of migratory birds — including with dogs off-leash — without a commercial guide, from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset in designated areas, if the hunting is carried out
    1. in accordance with any applicable federal permit and any authorization required by the laws of Quebec for sport hunting in that province; and
    2. without the use of toxic shot

Note: If there is a discrepancy between the information presented on this web page, any notice posted at the NWA site and the law, the law prevails, as it is the legal instrument authorizing the activity. 

Contact us

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Quebec Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas
801-1550, D’Estimauville Avenue
Québec (Quebec)
G1J 0C3

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

Corporation PARC Bas-Saint-Laurent
43, rue Alexandre, suite 100
Rivière-du-Loup (Quebec)
G5R 2W2

Phone number: 418-867-8882 ext. 201
Email: direction@parcbasstlaurent.com
Web Site: Parc Bas-Saint-Laurent (in French only)

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