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Location Canada, Québec
Central coordinates 69o 20.74' West  48o 1.93' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 4,200 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description Baie de l'Isle-Verte is a cove located beside the town of Saint-Jean-Baptiste de l'Isle-Verte, on the St. Lawrence River estuary, Québec. This town is located approximately 30 km east of Rivière-du-Loup. A National Wildlife Area (NWA) encompassing the marsh (marais) extends along km of shoreline to the west and east of the town, and a smaller Migratory Bird Sanctuary is centred in the middle of the NWA. There is a succession of different habitat types, from the estuarine waters and tidal marshes composed of saltwater cord-grass, to prairies of salt-meadow grass, and finally to coastal alder swamp. Its main feature is a vast marsh dotted with ice extraction pans created by the action of the retreating ice in the spring. This is the site of the largest remaining spartina marsh in southern Quebec. At low tide, the marsh has a minimal and maximal width of 610 m and 1070 m respectively. A constant supply of fresh water to this site is provided by a river and a few brooks.

Key Biodiversity Baie de l'Isle-Verte is a significant site for Greater Snow and Canada Geese. During spring and fall migrations, as many as 27,000 geese have been observed at this site. At the same time, greater than 4,000 Black Ducks (about 4% of the estimated Atlantic flyway population) can be observed at these sites. Other wayterbird migrants include: Green-winged Teals, Northern Pintails, Common Eiders, scoters, gulls and cormorants.

The variety of habitats found within Baie de L'Isle-Verte attract a large number of bird species throughout the year. Within the National Wildlife Area, more than 260 bird species have been recorded, including some rare species, such as Eurasian Widgeon, King Rail, Laughing Gull, Hawk Owl, Marsh Wren and Wilson's Phalarope. The Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow, a species found only locally in Québec, breeds in Baie de L'Isle-Vert. Among the shorebirds that have been recorded are Whimbrel, Greater Yellowlegs, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Spotted Sandpiper, Hudsonian Godwit, Common Snipe, Pectoral Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, and Semipalmated Sandpiper. Older breeding season surveys recorded 501 Black Duck ducklings (1968), 386 ducklings (1969), and 167 broods in 1970.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Snow Goose Anser caerulescens unknown  1997  118,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  1998  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Baie de l'Isle-Verte Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 2,215 protected area overlaps with site 1,200  
Baie de l'Isle-Verte Est Wildlife Habitat, Waterfowl Gathering Area 882 protected area overlaps with site 420  
Baie de l'Isle-Verte Ouest Wildlife Habitat, Waterfowl Gathering Area 1,088 protected area overlaps with site 600  
Isle - Verte, L' National Wildlife Reserve 480 protected area contained by site 490  
L'Isle-Verte Migratory Bird Refuge 303 protected area contained by site 300  
Quai de l'Isle-Verte Wildlife Habitat, Waterfowl Gathering Area 462 protected area overlaps with site 340  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Scrub  -
Grassland Steppe & dry calcareous grassland  -
Wetlands (inland) Rivers; Salt/brackish marshes  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major
tourism/recreation major

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Marais de la baie de L'Isle-Verte. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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