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Location Canada, Québec
Central coordinates 70o 25.98' West  47o 14.06' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 1,500 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description The three small Îles aux Loups Marins (Loups Marins Islands) and the large rocky flats (battures) that surrounds these islands are found approximately 8 km off the south shore of the St. Lawrence estuary, Québec. L'Islet-sur-mer, the closest town, is situated 23 km east of Montmagny. The large rocky flats are interspersed with muddy depressions. The small shale reef islands support mainly herbaceous vegetation. A large stand of Reed-Grass (Phragmites communis) occurs on the largest islets, as do alder and rose plants. Large willow trees are found near an uninhabited cottage on the largest islet.

Key Biodiversity The Battures aux Loups Marins have the largest concentration of Semipalmated Sandpipers along the St. Lawrence. In excess of 30,000 birds, about 1% of the estimated global population of this species, has been recorded at this site during fall migration. Other shorebird species occurring in large numbers at this site during fall migration include Semipalmated Plovers (770 or 1.5% of the global population) and Ruddy Turnstone (250). Black-crowned Night-Herons occur in nationally significant numbers at this site. A total of 135 nests have been recorded, representing almost 3% of the estimated Canadian population. The other heron at this site, the Great Blue Heron occurs in much smaller numbers (8 nests).

Common Eiders have gradually increased in numbers since 1971 when only 24 nests were recorded. By the early 1990s, an average of 273 pairs were counted at this site. American Black Duck and Northern Pintail nest in small numbers on the islands and the "battures" are used as a staging area for the Greater Snow Goose in spring and fall. Although no recent surveys have reconfirmed the breeding presence of gulls, in 1971, 20 nests of Great Black-backed and 60 nests of Herring Gulls were recorded at this site.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla passage  1989  30,600 individuals  unknown  A4i  Near Threatened 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Batture aux Loups Marins Faunal Habitat 730 protected area contained by site 740  
Battures aux Loups Marins (Petite-Rivière-Saint-François) Faunal Habitat 14 protected area contained by site 14  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Scrub  -
Grassland Steppe & dry calcareous grassland  -
Sea Sea inlets  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
tourism/recreation major

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Battures aux Loups Marins. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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