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Location Canada, Québec
Central coordinates 75o 5.56' West  45o 35.63' North
IBA criteria A4iii
Area 350 ha
Altitude 40 - 80m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description The Plaisance Wildlife Reserve is located on the Ottawa River between the towns of Thurso and Papineauville, Québec. The wildlife reserve is composed of a mix of habitats - islands, deciduous forest, fields, bays, marshes and river. Approximately 60% of the reserve consists of aquatic habitats such as open water, emergent vegetation, submerged grassy areas and other wetlands. The remainder of the area is flooded mature deciduous forests and grassy fields. Many tree species typical of southern Québec are found on site, including White Walnut, Rock Elm, Ironwood, Bitternut Hickory, and Blue-Beech.

Key Biodiversity In spring, this site becomes a major staging area for Canada Geese: thousands of geese rest and feed in the fields and on the river. During peak migration, 30,000-35,000 Canada Geese can be found at the reserve. This represents 5% of the Atlantic Canada Goose population and is a globally significant waterfowl concentration. A small proportion of the migrants belong to the Mississippi Valley population (B. c. interior). It is thought that about 219,000 Canada Geese use the reserve each season. Several other species of waterfowl such as scaup, Common Goldeneye and Common Merganser also occur in large numbers in the spring.

Least Bittern, a nationally threatened species, nests at the Plaisance Wildlife Reserve. In 1996, it was estimated that there were at least 15 pairs nesting here. This is 1.5% of the Canadian population and possibly almost half of the Least Bittern population in Québec. In addition, from 1962 to 1989, one to three pairs of provincially rare Sedge Wrens nested at the reserve.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
A4iii Species group - waterbirds non-breeding  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Grande Presqu'île (section au sud), La Faunal Habitat 105 protected area overlaps with site 9  
Marais aux Rubaniers (Plaisance) Faunal Habitat 51 protected area contained by site 53  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Temperate deciduous woods  -
Grassland Steppe & dry calcareous grassland  -
Wetlands (inland) Freshwater marshes/swamps; Rivers  -
Coastline Cliffs, rocky shores, islets, freshwater  -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Réserve faunique de Plaisance. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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