In Quebec, approximately 13.6 million hectares (8.6% of the province as of 2010) are designated as protected. Environment Canada maintains 36 protected areas in Quebec, including 8 National Wildlife Areas (NWA) and 28 Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBS), comprising over 58 thousand hectares of the province's protected lands and waters. Among the provinces, Quebec is home to the largest portion of Environment Canada's network of protected areas (25%).

Map of Environment Canada's Protected Areas in Quebec

Map of protected areas in Quebec. (4) Boatswain Bay MBS (11) Carillon Island MBS (14) Philipsburg MBS (26) Senneville MBS (12) Couvée Islands MBS (9) Île aux Hérons MBS (21) Îles de la Paix MBS (20) Nicolet MBS (19) Mont Saint-Hilaire MBS (25) Saint-Vallier MBS (18) Montmagny MBS (5) Cap-Saint-Ignace MBS (17) L'Isle-Verte MBS (16) L'Islet MBS (8) Île aux Basques MBS (27) Trois-Saumons MBS (13) Corossol Island MBS (10) Bonaventure Island and Percé Rock MBS (24) Saint-Omer MBS (22) Bird Rocks MBS (3) Betchouane MBS (28) Watshishou  MBS (7) Île à la Brume MBS (2) Baie des Loups MBS (15) Îles Sainte-Marie MBS (6) Gros Mécatina MBS (23) Saint-Augustin MBS (1) Brador Bay MBS (3) Îles de Contrecoeur NWA (4) Îles de la Paix NWA (6) Lac Saint-François NWA (1) Baie de l'Isle-Verte NWA (5) Îles de l'Estuaire NWA (7) Pointe-au-Père NWA (8) Pointe de l'Est NWA (2) Cap Tourmente NWA

Long description for the Map

Map showing the number of Environment Canada's protected areas in Quebec, for a total of 36 divided among 8 National Wildlife Areas (NWAS) and 28 Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs).

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List of Protected Areas in Quebec

The tables below contain information about the NWAs and MBSs shown on the map above. In addition to the name, year of establishment, and size of each protected area, the tables indicate how these sites fit into national and international networks of conservation areas. The following entities may be noted:

Ramsar: Wetland of International Importance

Important Bird Area (IBA)

Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN)

Biosphere reserve of the The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB)

National Wildlife Areas

Cap-Tourmente NWA picture

Photo: Rob Vanderkam © Environment Canada
Cap-Tourmente NWA.

NWA NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Baie de l'Isle-Verte NWA1980789
Cap Tourmente NWA19782,319
Îles de Contrecoeur NWA1981302
Îles de la Paix NWA1977129
Îles de l'Estuaire NWA1986404
Lac Saint-François NWA19781,467
Pointe-au-Père NWA198623
Pointe de l'Est NWA1978982

Migratory Birds Sanctuary

Botswain Bay MBS picture

Photo: © Environnement Canada
Botswain Bay MBS.

MBS NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Brador Bay MBS1925575
Baie des Loups MBS19253,655
Betchouane MBS1925498
Boatswain Bay MBS194115,690
Cap-Saint-Ignace MBS1972131
Gros Mécatina MBS19962,196
Île à la Brume MBS19253,836
Île aux Basques MBS1927846
Île aux Hérons MBS1937630
Bonaventure Island and Percé Rock MBS19191,373
Carillon Island MBS1937454
Couvée Islands MBS198615
Corossol Island MBS1937369
Philipsburg MBS1972525
Îles Sainte-Marie MBS19254,030
L'Islet MBS198659
L'Isle-Verte MBS1986379
Montmagny MBS1986122
Mont Saint-Hilaire MBS1960984
Nicolet MBS19822,939
Îles de la Paix MBS19551,089
Bird Rocks MBS1919653
Saint-Augustin MBS19255,443
Saint-Omer MBS198656
Saint-Vallier MBS1986358
Senneville MBS1936554
Trois-Saumons MBS1986157
Watshishou MBS192510,806

Access and Permitting

Although access to NWAs is not restricted, the primary purpose of these areas is to protect and conserve wildlife and their habitats, and therefore most NWAs are not equipped with facilities to accommodate public visitation. Unless otherwise posted, all recreational activities are prohibited within NWAs.

Although access to most MBSs is not restricted either, the primary intent of these sanctuaries is to protect migratory birds, and therefore hunting, as well as disturbing or molesting migratory birds, their eggs, nests or habitat, is prohibited.

A permit may be obtained from the Minister of the Environment authorizing the conduct of certain activities in an NWA or MBS, if the Minister or delegate is of the opinion that the proposed activity:

  • will not interfere with the conservation of wildlife; or
  • is consistent with the purpose for which the protected area was established; and
  • is consistent with the management plan for the protected area.

Contact Information

Additional information on entry, prohibited activities and permits in Environment Canada's protected areas is provided on the Management and Activities web pages of the National Wildlife Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries. For more information on Environment Canada's protected areas in Quebec, please contact the regional Environment Canada office: 

Environment Canada - Quebec Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Ecosystem Conservation
1550 avenue d'Estimauville
Québec, Quebec
G1J 5E9
Toll Free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)

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