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 (NWAs) and 28 Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs), 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 ampng 8 National Wildlife Areas (NWAS) and 28 Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs).

National Wildlife Areas
Réserves nationales de faune (8)

Migratory Bird Sanctuaries
Refuge d'oiseaux migrateurs (28)

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
IBA: Important Bird Area
WHSRN: Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network
MAB: Biosphere reserve of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme

This table provides information on the national wildlife areas such as the name of the area, the year it was established, the size in hectares and notes.

National Wildlife Areas
No.NameYear establishedSize in hectaresNotes
1Baie de l'Isle-Verte NWA1980322

Cap TourmenteNWA

Greater Snow Goose Population Monitoring

3Îles de ContrecoeurNWA1981325
4Îles de la Paix NWA1977187
5Îles de l'Estuaire NWA1986209
6Lac Saint-François NWA19781,521
7Pointe-au-Père NWA198624
8Pointe de l'Est NWA19781,050

This table provides information on migratory bird sanctuaries such as the name of sanctuary, the year it was established, the size in hectares and notes.

Migratory Bird Sanctuaries
 No.NameYear establishedSize in hectaresNotes
1Brador Bay MBS1925561
2Baie des Loups MBS19253,873
3Betchouane MBS1925435
4Boatswain Bay MBS19419,616
  • joins a portion in Nunavut (total area = 16,352 ha)
  • part of Boatswain Bay IBA (Nunavut)
5Cap-Saint-Ignace MBS1972130
6Gros Mécatina MBS19962,189-
7Île à la Brume MBS19253,779-
8Île aux Basques MBS1927855
9Île aux Hérons MBS1937623
10Bonaventure Island and Percé Rock MBS19191,299
11Carillon Island MBS1937465-
12Couvée Islands MBS198615
13Corossol Island MBS1937367
14Philipsburg MBS1972757
15Îles Sainte-Marie MBS19254,004
16L'Islet MBS198659
17L'Isle-Verte MBS1986258
18Montmagny MBS1986122
19Mont Saint-Hilaire MBS19601,006-
20Nicolet MBS19823,009
21Îles de la Paix MBS1955543-
22Bird Rocks MBS1919649
23Saint-Augustin MBS19254,933
24Saint-Omer MBS198665-
25Saint-Vallier MBS1986363
26Senneville MBS1936570-
27Trois-Saumons MBS1986224-
28Watshishou MBS192511,778

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 Environment authorizing certain activities to take place 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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