The Gouvernement du Québec approved the designation of the Réserve de territoire aux fins d’aire protégée de la Péninsule-de-Ministikawatin 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 Péninsule-de-Ministikawatin abuts the Réserve de biodiversité projetée de la péninsule de Ministikawatin. This addition protects a vast wetlands complex (shrub swamps, marshes, fens, and so on) that is unique in Québec, formed with the recent emersion of land in the wake of the isostatic rebound. The sector displays a wide variety of habitats and extensive biodiversity, especially from the standpoint of avian fauna, in particular waterfowl and shorebirds. Several vulnerable wildlife and plant species such as boreal chorus frogs, yellow rails, Nelson’s sharp-tailed sparrows, and short-eared owls, are found in the territory and are evidence of its importance for the maintenance of the region’s biodiversity. 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. A portion of this territorial reserve for protected area purposes overlaps the proposed and subsequently authorized expansion of the Réserve de biodiversité projetée de la péninsule de Ministikawatin 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.