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Location Canada, Québec
Central coordinates 60o 8.12' West  50o 10.60' North
IBA criteria A4i
Area 5,300 ha
Altitude 0 - 15m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description Île du Lac is located in the Strait of Belle Isle, in the northeastern part of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It borders the east side of Ouapitagone Straits and lies about 2 km off the north shore of the gulf. The island’s north shore is well indented and allows sand to accumulate in the protected bays, creating shallow banks. Offshore, there are numerous rocks and islets. Inland the island landscape, which is dotted with small ponds, consists of rocky outcrops, shrub and grassland.

Key Biodiversity A large colony of Great Cormorants nests on Île du Lac. At last count, in 1990, the colony was 139 pairs strong, which is about 2% of the North American population. The number of breeding pairs has remained relatively stable for the last five decades, but is far short of the maximum of 4,500 birds set in 1860.

The Double-crested Cormorant formerly bred here, but no longer does so. In the past, its population peaked twice at 210 individuals, in 1930, and at 500 in 1860. Finally, breeding of RTLO has been confirmed twice on the island, the last time in 1988.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo breeding  1990  139 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Scrub  17%
Grassland Steppe & dry calcareous grassland  22%
Wetlands (inland) Freshwater marshes/swamps  5%
Sea Open sea  40%
Coastline Rocky flats & barrens  16%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research minor

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Île du Lac. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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