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      Biosphere Reserve Information



© Photo: Normand Gariépy
  General Description   Situated along the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, Lac Saint-Pierre is an unusual example in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves since it includes a major waterway in an industrialized area. The Lac Saint-Pierre is also a unique ecosystem, important for migratory birds and essential for the protection of Quebec and Canada. For instance, the largest number of herons recorded in North America is found in protected habitats in this area, which is also recognized as a Ramsar site. The Federal and Provincial governments have made considerable investments in monitoring and rehabilitating the Saint Lawrence River and recent studies on water quality shows a continuing improvement over the last 15 years. Due to declining fish stocks, fishing practices are now being questioned and fish stock maintenance is one of the challenges of the biosphere reserve.
About 85,000 people live in the biosphere reserve, mostly in urban areas (2000). Their main activities are agriculture, hunting, fishing, wildlife conservation activities, resorts, boating, commercial navigation as well as trade and industry. It is believed that the designation of Lac Saint-Pierre as a biosphere reserve will bring about a change of perceptions and mentality, catalyzing a more sustainable development in the region.
  Major ecosystem type   Estuarine systems and freshwater wetlands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Aquatic grassbeds; marshlands; lake; periodically flooded meadows and agricultural lands; swamps; waterway; urban and industrial areas
  Location   46°02' to 46°16'N; 72°39' to 73°10'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   48,000
  Core area(s)   3,135
  Buffer zone(s)   12,409
  Transition area(s) when given   32,456
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   -6 to +10
  Year designated   2000
  Administrative authorities   5 regional municipalities of the county (MRC): MRC du Bas-Richelieu; MRC de d'Autray; MRC de Maskinongé; MRC de Nicolet-Yamaska; MRC de Francheville Provincial functionnaries: Société de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec, Direction régionale de la Montérégie; Société de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec, Direction régionale de Lanaudière; Société de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec, Direction régionale du Centre du Québec; Société de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec, Direction de la Mauricie Federal functionnaries: Environment Canada, Service de la faune, Région du Québec
  Brief description   Monitoring and characterization of erosion of banks of Lac Saint-Pierre
Monitoring of treated urban waste water
Monitoring of effluents of industrial waste water
Inventory of fauna and flora
Research and studies of the fauna/agriculture relations to enable the elaboration of agricultural practices that respect the environment
Conservation of wood lot or sugar bush
Inventory of the wild fowl
Inventory of endangered birds
Studies of Wood Duck (Aix sponsa), Screech Owl (Otus asio), passerines, Copper redhorse (Moxostoma hubbsi), snowgoose (Anser caerulescens), Green Dragon (Arisaema dracontium)
Study and monitoring of habitats of lac Saint-Pierre
Reptiles, amphibians and fish
Socio-economic study on navigation
Strategic plan for development of ecotourism
Air/surface exchange of mercury in the Baie St.François- Lac Saint-Pierre Biosphere Reserve
Collaborative research network program on the impacts of atmospheric mercury deposition on large scale ecosystems in Canada - Lac Saint-Pierre Biosphere Reserve
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Acidic deposition/Acid rain, erosion, habitat, heavy metals, monitoring/methodologies, pollution, pollutants.
  Biodiversity   Amphibians, birds, conservation, fauna, fishes, flora, freshwater/inland water, plants, rare/endangered/threatened species, reptiles, species inventorying/inventory.
  Socio-economic   Agriculture/Production systems, industry, monitoring methodologies, people-nature relations/man/nature, social/socio-economic aspects, tourism, transport.
  Integrated monitoring   Impact and risk studies/Environmental impact, integrated studies/interdisciplinaty, planning and zoning measures/zonation, sustainable development/sustainable use, urban systems/towns/cities.
  Contact address   Christian Hart
Réserve de biosphère du Lac Saint-Pierre
550, rue Montcalm, CP1499, Bureau 300
  Telephone   (1.450) 836 7028
  Fax   (1.450) 836 1272

Last updated: 26/02/2007

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