Natural sites of interest in southern Quebec - Results

In total, 126 organizations involved in the conservation of natural sites (conservation agencies-ENGOs, RCMs, municipalities, government agencies and the like) were contacted, with a response rate of 79% (100 of the 126 organizations responded to the request). This made it possible to gather and analyse 142 projects designed to identify natural sites of interest in southern Quebec. Most of the projects identified sites of interest for conservation using a multi-criteria analysis method (table 2). Other projects were based on the knowledge of important habitat for species groups or for endangered, vulnerable or at-risk species in Canada as documented in conservation plans developed by the MDDELCC or in recovery documents produced by Environment Canada. Lastly, certain documents were intended for mapping specific habitat types such as wetlands and woodlots.

TABLE 2. Number of projects broken down by analysis method for identifying natural sites of interest for conservation in southern Quebec

Analysis method No. of projects
Multi-criteria analysis 66
Cartography, mapping 16
Habitat identification for at-risk species or species group 47
Expert consultation/contribution 13

The inventory of projects designed to identify natural sites of interest for conservation in southern Quebec is made public through a cartography module whereby the area covered by each project is shown by clicking a point on the map associated with each project. For mapping purposes, the area covered by each project outlines the limits of the municipality (or municipalities) where the project occurred. The following information is also given for each project:

  • Project title
  • Administrative regions covered
  • Habitat type
  • Summary of the study
  • Objectives of the study
  • Method of analysis
  • Responsible organization
  • Reference documents
  • Internet link to the organization’s site or pdf reports when available

In the St. Lawrence Lowlands ecoregion, the Montérégie administrative region stands out in terms of the number of studies produced, given the large number of species that are endangered, vulnerable or at risk in Canada and Québec, and the presence of numerous conservation agencies that are very active in the region. The Montérégie region also has the most studies produced or funded by municipal authorities (RCMs, cities, regional conferences of elected representatives and so on). Many documents have also been produced for other administrative regions subject to strong human pressure: Outaouais, Montréal, Centre-du-Québec.

In the Appalachians ecoregion, the Estrie administrative region also stands out in terms of the number of studies produced given the presence of numerous conservation agencies that are very active in habitat conservation. Several projects were also conducted in the Chaudière-Appalaches and Bas-Saint-Laurent regions whereas no single study aimed at identifying sites of interest for the whole of the Gaspesie region.

As for the St. Lawrence estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence regions, projects were mainly developed to identify coastal habitats of interest for conservation by a few organizations, namely ZIP committees and Conservation de la Nature (The Nature Conservancy of Canada). In addition, numerous conservation plans and recovery documents were produced for species at risk found in Gaspésie, the Magdalen islands and Anticosti Island.

Cautionary note

This project produced a relatively comprehensive picture of current projects designed to identify natural sites of interest for conservation in southern Quebec. Although the research was conducted systematically, some projects may have been omitted for various reasons: no response, information not available and so on. In addition, some projects still in progress were also identified and may eventually be included in the inventory.