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Petite île Sainte-Geneviève (QC073)


Petite île Sainte-Geneviève (QC073)

Havre-Saint-Pierre, Québec

Latitude 50.251°N
Longitude 63.090°W
Altitude 0 - 20m
Area 0.55km²

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.


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.

Conservation Issues

Petite Île Ste-Geneviève is located within the Mingan Archipelago National Park, and as a result is relatively well protected from most threats. Continued poaching of seabird eggs and waterfowl is a concern (although levels are now much lower than previously), and disturbance from boaters and visitors needs to be managed. Due to the site's location along the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, there is an ever-present threat of oil spills. The Great Lakes / St. Lawrence Seaway is one of the most heavily used shipping routes in the world.

IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status
Common Eider
Number Year Season