IBA L'Islet
Notre-Dame-de-bonsecours-de-l'Islet, Québec
Site Summary
QC097 Latitude
Longitude
47.144° N
70.356° W
Elevation
Size
0 - 5 m
6.58 km²
Habitats:
salt marshes/brackish marshes, mud or sand flats (freshwater), coastal cliffs/rocky shores (marine)
Land Use:
Nature conservation and research, Tourism/recreation
Potential or ongoing Threats:
Industrial pollution, Other decline in habitat quality, Oil slicks
IBA Criteria: Globally Significant: Waterfowl Concentrations, Continentally Significant: Congregatory Species
Conservation status: Migratory Bird Sanctuary (federal)
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Site Description
A site summary has not yet been finalized for this site, which covers a stretch of James Bay coastline from the northeastern corner at Pointe Louis-XIV southward to the Riviere du Vieux Comptoir (south of Wemindji). This coastline is extremely important for migrant waterfowl and shorebirds. The data shown in the table currently shows data for part of the site only.



IBA Criteria
SpeciesT | A | I Links Date Season Number G C N
Note: species shown in bold indicate that the maximum number exceeds at least one of the IBA thresholds (sub-regional, regional or global). The site may still not qualify for that level of IBA if the maximum number reflects an exceptional or historical occurrence.
 
Fish Habitat
The landscape of the area is typified by salt marshes, intertidal rocky shore, mudflats, river's estuaries and long sandy beaches. The mixing of the cold and well-oxygenated waters with the warmer waters of the St. Lawrence favors an unusual marine biodiversity. Several marine species are commercially exploited, such as the common whelk, the soft-shell clam, the green sea urchins, the Stimpson's surf clams, the snow crab and the Atlantic herring. Moreover, the harvest of soft-shell clam at low tide is a popular recreational activity throughout the region of Lower North Shore. The north shore of the estuary is also hosting a variety of pelagic species occupying an important role in the food chain, such as the capelin and the rainbow smelt are also targeted by the sport fishermen.

The fish habitat is affected by coastal erosion, residential development, harnessing of rivers and the creation of resorts. In addition, the presence of industries discharging pollutants in the system does impacts the water quality. The Atlantic salmon is sensible to aluminum contamination through bioaccumulation of the residues present in the system.


Major species present:
Atlantic herring
Atlantic salmon
Capelin
Green sea urchin
Snow crab
Soft-shell clam
Stimpson's surf clam

Plants
Coastal habitats of this area are soaked by generally turbid and lightly salted water. We found mostly brackish marshes, dominated by American bulrush, sessilefruit arrowhead and broad-leafed arrowhead. With there large root system, theses plants retain the soil in place, helping to protect the banks against coastal erosion. In addition, the underground parts are used as a food source by the snow geese during their migrations.

The destruction and loss of habitat (shoreline fill, draining wetlands, urbanization) are the main threats affecting this ecosystem. Water pollution and the risks of oil spills are issues of concern. The spread of invasive species is to be monitored. This region is hosting 18 endemic plant species, including three endangered species in Québec.

Major species present :
American bulrush
Broad-leafed arrowhead
Sessilefruit arrowhead

The IBA Program is an international conservation initiative coordinated by BirdLife International. The Canadian co-partners for the IBA Program are Bird Studies Canada and Nature Canada.
   © Bird Studies Canada