The Gouvernement du Québec approved the designation of the Réserve de territoire aux fins d’aire protégée de la Baie-de-Boatswain following the submission in the fall of 2020 of a joint brief from the Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks. The legally protected status contemplated for this territory is that of a “biodiversity reserve,” which is governed by the Natural Heritage Conservation Act.
Geographical location, boundaries and dimensions
The Réserve de territoire aux fins d’aire protégée de la Baie-de-Boatswain abuts the Réserve de biodiversité projetée de la baie de Boatswain. The addition of this territory better protects the ecosystems in the Coastal Area of Rupert Bay territorial zone and preserves a coastal margin in continuity with the continent. Several occurrences of vulnerable wildlife and plant species are found in the territory such as the boreal chorus frog, yellow rail, Nelson’s sharp-tailed sparrow, pink everlasting, blue lettuce, and Chamisso arnica, which reflect its abundant biodiversity and considerable conservation value. Moreover, while no occurrence has been mapped at the present time, the sector covered is known to be used by the olive-sided flycatcher and the rusty blackbird, two species that are likely to be designated as threatened or vulnerable. The sector is also a very important staging area for the red knot rufa subspecies, which is designated as endangered in Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act. This territorial reserve for protected area purposes overlaps the proposed and subsequently authorized expansion of the Réserve de biodiversité projetée de la baie de Boatswain under the procedure to assess and review environmental and social impact carried out in 2010.
Protection measures applied in the territory
No natural resource exploration or exploitation activity (mining, energy and forests) is allowed in the territory of the territorial reserve for protected area purposes. The Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks will ensure the maintenance of the administrative and legal provisions that their prohibition requires.