Petite Rivière de la Baleine

Country/territory: Canada

IBA Criteria met: -
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 93,000 ha

Protection status:

Birds Canada / Nature Canada

Site description
The Petite rivière de la Baleine is located north of the Grande rivière de la Baleine and from its source in the Saindon Lakes, flows into Hudson Bay at the village of Umiujaq, Québec. The site includes the Petite rivière de la Baleine and its tributaries, including the Boutin River, its largest tributary. The Petite rivière de la Baleine is 220 km long. Near the midpoint of the river, there is a series of rapids and small waterfalls, interrupted by wide, slow flowing section, and along the last 52 km there is a continuous stretch of very fast rapids where the river runs into a deep valley with high steep slopes.

Key biodiversity
The Petite rivière de la Baleine is an important breeding area for the nationally threatened eastern population of Harlequin Ducks. In 1991, there were 19 breeding pairs and 15 non-breeding birds and in 1992 there were 33 breeding pairs and 23 non-breeding birds. This average of 71 Harlequin Ducks is almost 6% of this species eastern population.

Two pairs of Golden Eagle nest on the river’s steep cliffs. This is more than 1% of the known Québec breeding population.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Petite Rivière de la Baleine. Downloaded from on 03/12/2020.