An ecosystem is an environment where living organisms (plants and animals) interact with inert matter to create an ecological unit.

The biosphere is made up of all the ecosystems on the planet.
 
A wildlife habitat is an environment where an animal species can feed, shelter and reproduce.
An ecosystem is an environment where living organisms (plants and animals) interact with inert matter to create an ecological unit.

The biosphere is made up of all the ecosystems on the planet.
 
A wildlife habitat is an environment where an animal species can feed, shelter and reproduce.

© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.

Reflections on the water in the marsh of Baie de Lavallière

With a surface area of 21 square kilometres, Baie de Lavallière is the largest managed marsh in eastern North America. Since 1989, the Société d'aménagement de la baie Lavallière has worked to preserve and promote the marshes and swamps of Baie de Lavallière. By taking a path through the wetlands, visitors can observe a great variety of flora and fauna, including some rare species.

Philippe Manning
2008-06-04
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


Fish ladder in Baie de Lavallière during spring flooding

This fish ladder was installed to allow late-spawning species, such as Largemouth Bass, to enter Baie de Lavallière from the Yamaska River when water levels are low.

Philippe Manning
2008-06-04
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


Female Wood Duck perched on a nesting box

The Société d'aménagement de la baie Lavallière has monitored a network of Wood Duck nesting boxes in the Lake Saint-Pierre region for over 20 years. The organization also manages data for the provincial network. Female Wood Ducks typically nest in a hole in tree. Unfortunately, deforestation has eliminated many suitable nest sites.

Paul Messier
Société d'aménagement de la baie Lavallière
c. 2004
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


A man examines a Wood Duck nesting box near a tree.

To make up for this, thousands of nesting boxes have been installed throughout the province of Quebec.

Paul Messier
Société d'aménagement de la baie Lavallière
c. 2004
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


A man, crouching in the snow, examines a Wood Duck nesting box.

The boxes are carefully examined each winter. Researchers assess how many boxes were used, and which species nested in them.

Paul Messier
Société d'aménagement de la baie Lavallière
c. 2004
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


Paul Messier holding an Eastern Screech Owl near a nesting box.

The Société d'aménagement de la baie Lavallière has also monitored Eastern Screech Owl populations for some twenty years.

Philippe Manning
2008-06-04
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


Paul Messier stands on a ladder, holding an Eastern Screech Owl chick.

These birds of prey sometimes lay eggs and raise their young in boxes intended for Wood Ducks.

Philippe Manning
2008-06-04
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


In 2005, Pierre Brousseau, a biologist at the Canadian Wildlife Service (part of Environment Canada) began to keep an inventory of Black Tern colonies along the St. Lawrence, from Lake Saint-Pierre to the Boucherville Islands. The data collected allows researchers to monitor population trends and assess the impact of changes in water levels on the reproductive success of Black Terns.
In 2005, Pierre Brousseau, a biologist at the Canadian Wildlife Service (part of Environment Canada) began to keep an inventory of Black Tern colonies along the St. Lawrence, from Lake Saint-Pierre to the Boucherville Islands. The data collected allows researchers to monitor population trends and assess the impact of changes in water levels on the reproductive success of Black Terns.

© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.

Black Tern in flight against a blue sky

During the breeding season, Black Terns form colonies in the marshes.

Philippe Manning
2008-07-02
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


Three Black Tern chicks in their nest

These birds build their floating nests with material from emergent plants.

Philippe Manning
2008-07-02
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


Paul Messier weighs a Black Tern chick in a net.

The Société d'aménagement de la baie Lavallière (SABL) offers technical assistance to a variety of research programs. Paul Messier, wildlife technician and director of the SABL, weighs each chick.

Philippe Manning
2008-07-02
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


Close-up of a Black Tern chick being banded.

He then places a band around the bird's foot. Each band has a unique serial number, enabling researchers to identify and track individual birds. Banding is generally used to monitor bird populations.

Philippe Manning
2008-07-02
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


A woman holding a duck, with a man in the foreground.

This station in the south-west sector of Lake Saint-Pierre has been operated by the Société d'aménagement de la baie Lavallière (SABL) for nearly 25 years.

Fannie Cartier
2012-08-17
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


Great Blue Heron standing in a marsh.

The majestic silver maples on Grande Île are home to one of the world's largest heron colonies, with nearly 1,300 nests. The Grande Île wildlife reserve has been protected during the nesting season since 1992. Access is forbidden from April 1 to July 31, except for research, inspection, protection or monitoring purposes.

Philippe Manning
2008-06-04
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


Great Blue Heron taking off from the bay of Île de Grâce.

Great Blue Herons feast on the many fish that live in the marshes that surround the islands of the archipelago.

Philippe Manning
2008-07-14
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


History of the organization

Jean-Pierre Gagnon grew up on the banks of the Bayonne River. In 1995, his concern about water quality in the river led him to set up the Comité des Amants de la Bayonne, together with Louis Trudeau and Ghislaine Guindon. This committee aimed to understand people’s perceptions of the river, and launched various initiatives to raise awareness concerning water quality and shoreline protection. When the Québec Water Policy was introduced in 2002, the committee applied to become a watershed agency, the Organisme de bassin versant de la rivière Bayonne, which was officially registered in 2005. In 2009, the Chicot, Saint-Joseph, Chaloupe and Cachée Rivers were added to the territory covered by the agency, and its name was changed to the Organisme des bassins versants de la Zone Bayonne (OBVZB).

Activities organized by this organization

The agency seeks to raise awareness by organizing conferences, exhibits, and outdoor activities such as canoe or kayak trips al Read More
History of the organization

Jean-Pierre Gagnon grew up on the banks of the Bayonne River. In 1995, his concern about water quality in the river led him to set up the Comité des Amants de la Bayonne, together with Louis Trudeau and Ghislaine Guindon. This committee aimed to understand people’s perceptions of the river, and launched various initiatives to raise awareness concerning water quality and shoreline protection. When the Québec Water Policy was introduced in 2002, the committee applied to become a watershed agency, the Organisme de bassin versant de la rivière Bayonne, which was officially registered in 2005. In 2009, the Chicot, Saint-Joseph, Chaloupe and Cachée Rivers were added to the territory covered by the agency, and its name was changed to the Organisme des bassins versants de la Zone Bayonne (OBVZB).

Activities organized by this organization

The agency seeks to raise awareness by organizing conferences, exhibits, and outdoor activities such as canoe or kayak trips along the river. These events are a great opportunity to discuss regional issues and coordinate actions with participants from all walks of life. This is a first step to taking concrete action in the field. Many farmers have made significant efforts to protect their river banks, and young people have participated in tree planting and shoreline cleanup initiatives. The OBVZB also created an award in honour of Ghislaine Guindon, who passed away in 2009, to highlight projects that improve water quality and protect river banks. Prizes are awarded in three categories: agricultural producers, primary school students and secondary school students.

River and stream monitoring program

For the past four years, the Organisme des bassins versants de la Zone Bayonne (OBVZB) has also participated in the SurVol Benthos river and stream monitoring program developed by the Education and Water Monitoring Action Group and the ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec (MDDEFP).

© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.

Three men stand in the middle of a river, examining macroinvertebrates in a net.

Benthic macroinvertebrates are collected with a kick net and a bucket.

Philippe Manning
2012-09-10
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


Two men measure the width of the river.

By participating in the SurVol Benthos program, the Organisme des bassins versants de la Zone Bayonne (OBVZB) is helping researchers draw up a portrait of the targeted rivers and understand how they change over time.

Philippe Manning
2012-09-10
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


Two men stand in the middle of a river, examining macroinvertebrates in a net.

This means that we can now verify whether interventions to reduce shoreline erosion have an effect on the macroinvertebrate species collected.

Philippe Manning
2012-09-10
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


This association of hunters, founded in 1997, deals with problems concerning habitat conservation and hunting regulations in the Lake Saint-Pierre region. One of the projects the Regroupement des Sauvaginiers du Lac Saint-Pierre has participated in is setting up a wildlife management project on Île Ronde to provide cover for nesting ducks. Ducks Unlimited created the management plan for this project. A buffer strip around 30 metres wide was set up all around the island; it is planted mainly with reed canarygrass, a plant that is used by nesting ducks. The buffer strip also reduces shoreline erosion.
This association of hunters, founded in 1997, deals with problems concerning habitat conservation and hunting regulations in the Lake Saint-Pierre region. One of the projects the Regroupement des Sauvaginiers du Lac Saint-Pierre has participated in is setting up a wildlife management project on Île Ronde to provide cover for nesting ducks. Ducks Unlimited created the management plan for this project. A buffer strip around 30 metres wide was set up all around the island; it is planted mainly with reed canarygrass, a plant that is used by nesting ducks. The buffer strip also reduces shoreline erosion.

© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.

The Organisme de concertation pour l’eau des bassins versants de la rivière Nicolet (COPERNIC), founded in 2002, is dedicated to protecting and promoting aquatic environments by encouraging cooperation among various stakeholders in the Nicolet River watershed.

Manon Couture has worked for COPERNIC as project leader in charge of watersheds in the southern Lake Saint-Pierre region since 2009. Her work involves encouraging joint action among all stakeholders in the sub-watersheds that have been identified as priorities. Manon Couture supports those stakeholders in planning and carrying out their projects.

She introduces us to a project that is very important to her: the creation of a wildlife corridor along the western branch of David-Houle Stream. The land belongs to the Société d’Aménagement Récréatif pour la Conservation de l’Environnement du Lac Saint-Pierre (SARCEL), and is located south of Highway 132 in the town of Baie-du-Febvre, RCM of Nicolet-Yamaska, along the western branch of David-Houle Stream. The stream flows directly into Lake Saint-Pierre.
The Organisme de concertation pour l’eau des bassins versants de la rivière Nicolet (COPERNIC), founded in 2002, is dedicated to protecting and promoting aquatic environments by encouraging cooperation among various stakeholders in the Nicolet River watershed.

Manon Couture has worked for COPERNIC as project leader in charge of watersheds in the southern Lake Saint-Pierre region since 2009. Her work involves encouraging joint action among all stakeholders in the sub-watersheds that have been identified as priorities. Manon Couture supports those stakeholders in planning and carrying out their projects.

She introduces us to a project that is very important to her: the creation of a wildlife corridor along the western branch of David-Houle Stream. The land belongs to the Société d’Aménagement Récréatif pour la Conservation de l’Environnement du Lac Saint-Pierre (SARCEL), and is located south of Highway 132 in the town of Baie-du-Febvre, RCM of Nicolet-Yamaska, along the western branch of David-Houle Stream. The stream flows directly into Lake Saint-Pierre.

© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.

Manon Couture hammers a stake into a field.

As part of this project, 425 white ash and 75 bur oak have been planted along the ravine, over a distance of 1,250 metres.

Philippe Manning
2012-08-27
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


A variety of plants grow along the ravine of David-Houle Stream

These trees stabilize the bank and, along with the pines already grown along the stream, provide shelter for White-Tailed Deer.

Philippe Manning

© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


Commune-de-Baie-du-Febvre wetland project

The Baie-du-Febvre community pasture covers 326 hectares of the floodplain south of Lake Saint-Pierre. Its numerous marshes, wet meadows and swamps are subject to springtime flooding and provide ideal feeding and breeding grounds for ducks, fish, amphibians and muskrats. In 1992, the ministère du Loisir, de la Chasse et de la Pêche (now known as the ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs) and Ducks Unlimited collaborated on the Commune de Baie-du-Febvre wetland project, which was intended to increase wildlife productivity in a section of the territory, and especially to make the wetland more attractive to fish as a spawning and rearing habitat. Segment 1 of the managed habitat is a permanent marsh with a surface area of 38 hectares. Dabbling ducks use it as a staging area on their migrations, but also pair up, nest and raise ducklings in the marsh. Segments 2 and 3 include fish ponds bordered by vegetation, which shelters nesting ducks.

Read More
Commune-de-Baie-du-Febvre wetland project

The Baie-du-Febvre community pasture covers 326 hectares of the floodplain south of Lake Saint-Pierre. Its numerous marshes, wet meadows and swamps are subject to springtime flooding and provide ideal feeding and breeding grounds for ducks, fish, amphibians and muskrats. In 1992, the ministère du Loisir, de la Chasse et de la Pêche (now known as the ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs) and Ducks Unlimited collaborated on the Commune de Baie-du-Febvre wetland project, which was intended to increase wildlife productivity in a section of the territory, and especially to make the wetland more attractive to fish as a spawning and rearing habitat. Segment 1 of the managed habitat is a permanent marsh with a surface area of 38 hectares. Dabbling ducks use it as a staging area on their migrations, but also pair up, nest and raise ducklings in the marsh. Segments 2 and 3 include fish ponds bordered by vegetation, which shelters nesting ducks.

Restoring the wetland project

Over time, the Commune de Baie-du-Febvre wetland project deteriorated: sediments and emergent plants blocked off the fish ponds, creating a barrier that kept fish from returning to Lake Saint-Pierre after spring floods receded. From 2008 to 2011, a major project was therefore undertaken to restore 20 hectares of the site. The fish ponds were improved, water level control structures were added and some more ponds were developed.

© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.

Metal water level control structure

This metal structure, which is submerged during the spring floods, controls water levels in the Commune de Baie-du-Febvre wetland project when the waters recede, extending the period when these habitats can be used by wildlife. The structure locally compensates for the effects of lower water levels in the St. Lawrence.

Philippe Manning
2013-05-15
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


Travers de la Commune Stream and pond built into an agricultural ditch.

To stabilize the banks of Travers de la Commune Stream, 8,200 shrubs (red-osier dogwoods and sandbar willows) and 2,800 trees (silver maples and red ash) were planted.

Philippe Manning
2013-05-15
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


History and description of the territory

Since the 1950s, agriculture has intensified in the Lake Saint-Pierre floodplain. Hay fields and pastures have been replaced by fields of corn and soy. This change has deeply affected key fish spawning, rearing and feeding habitats.

In 1981, the ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation wanted to build embankments around the Baie-du-Febvre and Nicolet floodplains to increase agricultural yields. Environmental groups were opposed to this initiative. In 1988, an agreement was reached between local farmers and the Société d’Aménagement Récréatif pour la Conservation de l’Environnement du Lac Saint-Pierre (SARCEL). With financial assistance from the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), SARCEL was able to purchase 500 hectares of land. The ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs and Ducks Unlimited collaborated on a wetland project to restore fish and waterfowl Read More
History and description of the territory

Since the 1950s, agriculture has intensified in the Lake Saint-Pierre floodplain. Hay fields and pastures have been replaced by fields of corn and soy. This change has deeply affected key fish spawning, rearing and feeding habitats.

In 1981, the ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation wanted to build embankments around the Baie-du-Febvre and Nicolet floodplains to increase agricultural yields. Environmental groups were opposed to this initiative. In 1988, an agreement was reached between local farmers and the Société d’Aménagement Récréatif pour la Conservation de l’Environnement du Lac Saint-Pierre (SARCEL). With financial assistance from the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), SARCEL was able to purchase 500 hectares of land. The ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs and Ducks Unlimited collaborated on a wetland project to restore fish and waterfowl habitat in a portion of the territory.

Today, the Baie-du-Febvre/Nicolet-Sud wetland project includes permanent marshes (segments 3 and 8), natural fish habitats (segments 5, 7 and 9) and staging areas for waterfowl (segments 2, 4, 6 and 10), which are also used for agricultural purposes. Segment 1 is dedicated exclusively to agriculture. Waterfowl use the permanent marshes as staging areas and breeding grounds. During the spring floods, the marsh in segment 8 also provides spawning habitat for many species of fish, notably Yellow Perch and Northern Pike.

© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.

Biologist Philippe Brodeur leans against a wooden fence in front of the permanent marsh.

Philippe Brodeur, biologist at the ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs, at the rest area set up by the Société d'Aménagement Récréatif pour la Conservation de l'Environnement du Lac Saint-Pierre in front of a permanent marsh managed by Ducks Unlimited.

Philippe Manning
2013-05-15
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


Lake Saint-Pierre Area of Prime Concern (ZIP) Committee

The Lake Saint-Pierre Area of Prime Concern (ZIP) Committee, officially incorporated in 1996, is dedicated to improving the environment of Lake Saint-Pierre and its tributaries. This organization plays a key role in raising awareness and educating people about the impact of their actions on the environment. According to director Louise Corriveau, the organization first identifies problems involving resources in the river ecosystem, then works with various local stakeholders to take action and find solutions. In this way, the ZIP Committee has helped manage watercourses, restore habitat, organize cleanup drives, and plant thousands of trees.
Lake Saint-Pierre Area of Prime Concern (ZIP) Committee

The Lake Saint-Pierre Area of Prime Concern (ZIP) Committee, officially incorporated in 1996, is dedicated to improving the environment of Lake Saint-Pierre and its tributaries. This organization plays a key role in raising awareness and educating people about the impact of their actions on the environment. According to director Louise Corriveau, the organization first identifies problems involving resources in the river ecosystem, then works with various local stakeholders to take action and find solutions. In this way, the ZIP Committee has helped manage watercourses, restore habitat, organize cleanup drives, and plant thousands of trees.

© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.

Louise Corriveau presents the educational kit on wildlife habitats.

Louise Corriveau presents this kit which helps people get to know the ecosystems of Lake Saint-Pierre and understand what they can do to help the environment.

Philippe Manning
2012-11-22
© 2013, Biophare. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

Educational objectives

  1. Assess the impact of human activities on the environment.
  2. Be able to define the terms wildlife habitat, ecosystem and biosphere. 
  3. Understand environmental measures taken to maintain the quality of wildlife habitat.

Curricular connections

Connections will be established between the virtual exhibit The Human Side of Lake Saint-Pierre and the contents of educational programs: rational resource use for an equitable distribution of wealth; awareness of interdependence between the environment and human activity; citizenship and community life; knowledge related to the organization of a society in its territory.

Learning outcomes

Understand the meaning of the terms wildlife habitat, ecosystem and biosphere. Identify environmental measures taken by wildlife management specialists to maintain the quality of wildlife habitat.
 
Measures taken to create a lesson plan based on the collection of learning objects

A student notebook, provided in the virtual exhibition, allows teams of students to note the various environmental measures taken to improve the quality of wildlife habitat.

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