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      Biosphere Reserve Information



© Photo: François Gagnon
  General Description   Located about 32 km east of Montreal, Mont Saint-Hilaire is a steep-sided circular formation rising some 250 meters above the Saint Lawrence plain. It comprises one of the last remnants of old growth deciduous forest in Quebec and hosts many rare and endangered species. The biosphere reserve is located near a major urban region of some 3.5 million people. Increasing urban development around Mont Saint-Hilaire and a growing number of visitors has led to the multiplication of human disturbances (e.g. illicit trails) and fragmentation of the forest which once covered the entire Richelieu Valley. Tourism and agriculture are important contributors to the economies of the five towns which are part of the transition area.
The protection of the greenbelt and forest corridors which surround Mount Saint-Hilaire is one of the main goals of the biosphere reserve. Since 1972, the Mont Saint-Hilaire Nature Centre - a non-profit organization - has worked in conjunction with McGill University’s Gault Nature Reserve as well as local communities and stakeholders towards the conservation of the mountain. Owners of apple orchards are thus aided by the Nature Centre and McGill University in order to find sound agricultural and economic approaches to ensure the integrity of the greenbelt that surrounds the mountain. With the same purpose, stewardship activities are undergone with landowners. Research has been carried out by the Mc Gill University, which owns the site since 1958.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate broadleaf forests or woodlands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Northern coniferous-hardwood forests; deciduous forests with sugar maple (Acer saccharum), American beech (Fagus grandifolia) and red oak (Quercus rubra); secondary forest; marshes; streams, lake shore and bogs; agroecosystems
  Location   45°33'N; 75°09'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   5,500
  Core area(s)   500
  Buffer zone(s)   600
  Transition area(s) when given   4,400
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +106 to +416
  Year designated   1978
  Administrative authorities   McGill University and the Mont Saint-Hilaire Nature Centre
  Brief description   Minerals
Erosion patterns
Impact of climate and gypsy moths (Lymantria dispar) on tree growth
Ecology of rarity and abundance in forest sedges (Carex)
Population ecology of endangered forest herbs (Allium and Panax)
Ecology of beech and sugar maple regeneration
Reproductive ecology of woodpeckers
Feeding ecology of benthic fishes
Forest tree biodiversity inventory plot (set out by the Smithsonian Institution and UNESCO (SI/MAB)
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Abiotic factors, climate, erosion.
  Biodiversity   Biodiversity, birds, ecology, fishes, forest systems, invertebrates/insects/spiders, methodologies, plants, rare/endangered/threatened species.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   Impact and risk studies/Environmental impact.
  Contact address   Eric Malka
Réserve de biosphère Mont-Saint-Hilaire
422, chemin des Moulins
J3G 4S6 Mont-Saint-Hilaire (Québec)
  Telephone   (1.450) 467 1755 ext.226
  Fax   (1.450) 467 8015
  Web site

Last updated: 26/02/2007

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