Lac Saint-Pierre

Lac Saint-Pierre is an unusual example of a biosphere reserve, incorporating a major waterway within an industrialized area. Situated along the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, Lac Saint-Pierre boasts a unique ecosystem, important for migratory birds and essential for the protection of Quebec and Canada. The largest number of herons recorded in North America is found in protected habitats in the area, which is also recognized as a Ramsar site.

Designation date:
2000
Administrative authorities: Environnement Canada, Service Canadien de la faune, Région du Québec.
Surface area (terrestrial and marine): 650,490 ha
Core area(s): 2,980 ha
Buffer zone(s): 12,911 ha
Transition area(s): 634,599 ha

Location
Latitude:
46°02’48”N – 46°15’54”N
Longitude: 72°39’18”W – 73°10’06”W
Midpoint: 46°09’22”N – 72°54’40”W

Ecological Characteristics

The Lac Saint-Pierre Biosphere Reserve is located on the Saint Lawrence River, east of Montreal, between Sorel-Tracy and Trois-Rivières, in Quebec. Ninety percent of the territory in the reserve has remained wild and unspoilt. It includes the most important archipelago of the Saint Lawrence River with more than 100 islands, as well as 20 per cent and 50 per cent of the marshes and wetlands of the Saint Lawrence River, respectively.

Lac Saint-Pierre is a unique ecosystem, important for migratory birds and essential for the environmental protection of Quebec and Canada. The largest number of great blue herons (Ardea Herodias) recorded in North America is found in protected habitats in this area, which is also recognized as a Ramsar site.

Up to 288 migratory bird species can be found in the area including black tern (Chlidonias niger), red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) and common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus). The area is also home to 27 species of rare plants and 79 species of fish including brown bullhead (Ameiurus natalis), pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus) and northern pike (Esox Lucius).



Socio-Economic Characteristics

About 85,000 people live in the biosphere reserve, mostly in urban areas (2000). The main activities are agriculture, hunting, fishing, wildlife conservation, tourism, boating, commercial navigation, and trade and industry.

The Federal and Provincial governments have expended considerable effort to monitor and rehabilitate the Saint Lawrence River and recent studies on water quality show continuing improvement over the last 15 years. Due to declining fish stocks, fishing practices are now being assessed with fish stock maintenance recognized as one of the key challenges of the biosphere reserve.


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