Île aux Basques et Les Razades

Country/territory: Canada

IBA Criteria met: A4i (2008)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 5,900 ha

Protection status:

Birds Canada / Nature Canada

Site description
The Île aux Basques lies 4 km offshore of Trois-Pistoles, in the marine estuary of Saint-Lawrence River, Quebec. L' Île aux Basques and the Razades are three rocky islands that belong, from a geological perspective, to the Appalachian Mountains. The Île aux Basques is the only island with forest cover a fresh water supply, and year-long occupation by birds. At low tide, the south shore of the Île aux Basques expose a vast mudflat whereas the north shore, which correspond to the end of the Appalachians, is bordered by a zone of deep waters. The zone that extends around three kilometers north of the island is an important staging area for aquatic birds. The Razades are two small islands 5 and 7 kilometres down-river from the Île aux Basques

At the end of the 15th century the Île aux Basques was used by Europeans; one of the first sites used by Europeans in the country. It was also a place where Europeans and First Nations people traded. Given its long use, the island has conserved a remarkably pristine character. The Société Provancher, which owns the island, offers a summer and fall boat service.

Key biodiversity
Île aux Basques et les Razades support a diverse array of waterbirds. About 2,000, or at least 1% of the poorly known Red-throated Loon population has been recorded in May. Double-crested Cormorants were found in nationally significant numbers here. In total, over 1,000 nests were recorded, representing greater than 1% of the estimated Atlantic population. Additionally, roughly 2% (2,000 birds) of the estimated Atlantic flyway population of Black Duck were found.

The island is a favourite for birders. Since the 1930s, over 229 species have been seen in the 1 km² area around the island. Other birds found at this site include Osprey, Great Blue Heron (20 pairs), Brant (300), Common Eider (1,000), Herring Gull (700 pairs), Surf Scoter (1,500), Barrow's Goldeneye (20), Red-breasted Merganser (2,000), and Purple Sandpiper (10).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Île aux Basques et Les Razades. Downloaded from on 29/11/2020.