Lake Saint-François National Wildlife Area pamphlet

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Saint-François National Wildlife Area
Photo: © Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2015. Lake Saint-François National Wildlife Area

What makes Lake Saint-François NWA so special?

Lake Saint-François National Wildlife Area (NWA) was created in 1978 to preserve a unique group of marshes and swamps with exceptionally diverse fauna and flora. This protected area, located in the heart of a farming belt in southwestern Quebec, covers over 1313 hectares on the south shore of Lake Saint-François, a natural widening of the St. Lawrence River. About 80% of the NWA consists of wetlands. The NWA is also

  • home to some 300 animal species and 600 plant species, including rare or at-risk species such as the Yellow Rail, Map Turtle and Butternut;
  • a nesting site for Sandhill Cranes since 2007;
  • a nesting site for one of the largest Canadian populations of Sedge Wrens;
  • a breeding, staging and foraging site for over 230 bird species, including thousands of ducks and geese that use it as a stopover during their spring and fall migrations;
  • a Wetland of International Importance, as designated under the Ramsar Convention.

Environment and Climate Change Canada manages this protected area to preserve its invaluable mosaic of diverse wildlife and ecosystems.

What are Environment and Climate Change Canada Protected Areas?

Environment and Climate Change Canada establishes marine and terrestrial NWAs for the purposes of conservation, research and interpretation. NWAs are established to protect migratory birds, species at risk, and other wildlife and their habitats. NWAs are established under the authority of the Canada Wildlife Act and are, first and foremost, places for wildlife.

Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs) are established under the authority of the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, and provide a refuge for migratory birds in marine and terrestrial environments. The current Protected Areas Network consists of 54 NWAs and 92 MBSs comprising more than 12 million hectares across Canada.

What can I do at Lake Saint-François NWA?

Access to the NWA is restricted to certain times of year and to designated locations in order to protect the area while still allowing the observation of wildlife. Visitors can go for a hike and observe the flora and fauna, especially birds, from an observation tower and from walking trails through some of the area’s ecosystems. Visitors can also discover the wetlands by canoe or kayak, but only during guided tours offered by a local organization authorized by Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Canada Map
Long description of the map

Location of the NWA on an illustrated map of Canada. The NWA location is indicated by a general annotation in the province of Quebec.

Who can I contact?

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Quebec Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
801-1550 D’Estimauville Avenue
Québec, Quebec G1J 0C3
Protected Area web site
Canada Logo

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