email a friend
printable version
Location Canada, Québec
Central coordinates 71o 8.98' West  46o 53.06' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 3,700 ha
Altitude 0 - 6m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description The Battures de Beauport and Chenal de L’île d’Orléans are on the St. Lawrence River just east of Quebec City. The site includes the L’île d’Orléans channel westward from L’Ange Gardien, and continues westward to include the Beauport tidal mudflats on the north side. In places, tidal flats can be as wide as 800 metres, with extensive Scirpus marshes. Immediately adjacent to the shorelines are highways, a railway and heavily urbanized areas. The waters are turbulent with strong currents and tides. Four species of fish that are in need of protection, such as American Eel and American Shad use the channel.

Key Biodiversity In spring and fall large numbers of waterfowl and shorebirds are attracted to the mudflats. Up to 105,876 waterfowl have been counted on spring surveys. Many of these birds were probably Greater Snow Geese since flocks of up to 100,000 Snow Geese have been recorded (2% of the North American population). In the fall of 1987, 4,000 American Black Ducks were tallied, representing over 1% of the global population. Before the construction of a highway in the late 1970s, this species was regularly present in even larger numbers - 5,000 to 8,000 were regularly seen. In the fall, many other species of waterfowl are present in the hundreds, sometimes thousands, especially Greater and Lesser scaup, Common and Red-breasted merganser, Green and Blue-winged teal and Northern Pintail. During hunting season, ducks tend to concentrate in the middle of the channel and in the hunting free area.

Thirty four species of shorebirds have been observed here, most in the Beauport flats. The most abundant species is the Semipalmated Sandpiper, which in fall migration was formerly recorded in flocks of 5,000 to 10,000 birds (maximum of 40,000 in 1973). Since then however, Semipalmated Sandpiper numbers have declined, with 2,000 being the highest number counted here since 1990. Hundreds of Least Sandpipers, Dunlin, Lesser and Greater yellowlegs, Short-billed Dowitchers and Killdeers are also seen.

Mixed flocks of Ring-billed and Herring gulls, gather together in flocks of about 1,000 to 2,000 birds. Great Black-backed Gulls and Bonaparte’s Gulls are present in smaller numbers in various seasons. Common Tern formerly nested here in low numbers (1972-1978).

Horned Grebe and Barrow’s Goldeneye, both rare in Quebec, are occasionally seen here, with noteworthy peaks of 81 and 41, respectively.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Snow Goose Anser caerulescens unknown  1997  75,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  50,000-99,999 individuals  poor  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Battures de Beauport Faunal Habitat 172 protected area contained by site 460  
Boischatel Faunal Habitat 254 protected area contained by site 260  
Ile d'Orléans (est du pont) Faunal Habitat 211 protected area contained by site 210  
Ile d'Orléans (ouest du pont) Faunal Habitat 278 protected area contained by site 280  
Ile d'Orléans (Saint-Pierre-de-l'Ile-d'Orléans) Faunal Habitat 297 protected area contained by site 300  
Marais de Montmorency Faunal Habitat 12 protected area contained by site 13  
Montmorency Faunal Habitat 145 protected area contained by site 150  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand or salt flats; Rivers; Salt/brackish marshes  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture minor
nature conservation and research major
tourism/recreation minor
urban/industrial/transport minor

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Battures de Beauport and chenal de l'île d'Orléans. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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