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Location Canada, Québec
Central coordinates 63o 5.40' West  50o 15.07' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 55 ha
Altitude 0 - 20m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description Petite Île Ste-Geneviève is located within the Mingan Archipelago, about 2.5 km off the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Québec. It is part of Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, which has an information and interpretation centre located in the town of Havre-Saint-Pierre. Petite Île Ste-Geneviève is composed of limestone and has a rocky shore with a few rocky cliffs. There are a few small forests, and the remainder of the vegetation is mostly grasses, shrubs, and other forbs. Mean annual temperature is 1.5°C and the average tidal range is 1.5 metres.

Key Biodiversity This site supports significant breeding concentrations of Common Eider (ssp. dresseri). Just less than 1% of the estimated Atlantic population of Common Eider nests on this island. In 1988, 750 pairs were recorded, and 743 pairs were recorded in 1998. After the breeding season, Common Eiders that nest in the St Lawrence estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence migrate to the coasts of Nova Scotia and New England for the winter.

In addition to Common Eiders, several other seabird species also nest on the island. In 1990, 205 Herring Gull and 19 Great Black-backed Gull nests were recorded, which was a significant increase from the late 1970s. In 1978, only one and two pairs of Herring and Black-backed gulls were recorded respectively. Populations of Double-crested Cormorants have also increased from 319 pairs in 1991 to 642 pairs in 1995. Other nesting species include Arctic and Common terns (15 pairs in 1978), Black-legged Kittiwakes (47 pairs in 1996), and Black Guillemots (21 nests in 1994). Ospreys, Bald Eagles and Great Glue Herons have also nested on the island.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Common Eider Somateria mollissima winter  1997  60,000 individuals  A4i  Near Threatened 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1997  50,000-99,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve 15,070 protected area overlaps with site 19  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Boreal coniferous forest  -
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -

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: Petite Île Sainte-Geneviève. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife