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Île du Lac (QC068)


Île du Lac (QC068)

Natashquan, Québec

Latitude 50.182°N
Longitude 60.091°W
Altitude 0 - 15m
Area 32.89km²

Site Description

Île du Lac is located in the Strait of Belle Isle, in the northeastern part of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It borders the east side of Ouapitagone Straits and lies about 2 km off the north shore of the gulf. The island's north shore is well indented and allows sand to accumulate in the protected bays, creating shallow banks. Offshore, there are numerous rocks and islets. Inland the island landscape, which is dotted with small ponds, consists of rocky outcrops, shrub and grassland.


A large colony of Great Cormorants nests on Île du Lac. At last count, in 1990, the colony was 139 pairs strong, which is about 2% of the North American population. The number of breeding pairs has remained relatively stable for the last five decades, but is far short of the maximum of 4,500 birds set in 1860.

The Double-crested Cormorant formerly bred here, but no longer does so. In the past, its population peaked twice at 210 individuals, in 1930, and at 500 in 1860. Finally, breeding of RTLO has been confirmed twice on the island, the last time in 1988.

Conservation Issues

The main threat to the Great Cormorant colony at Île du Lac is the disturbance and persecution of the nesting cormorants by inhabitants of the area. The site is located inside a Priority Intervention Zone (ZIP #19, Côte-nord du golfe) and has also been designated as a “Habitat faunique” area, on account of the bird colony.

IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status
Great Cormorant
Number Year Season