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Réservoir Beaudet (QC110)

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Réservoir Beaudet (QC110)

Victoriaville, Québec

Latitude 46.074°N
Longitude 71.970°W
Altitude 44m
Area 1.52km²

Site Description

Réservoir Beaudet is located north of the city of Victoriaville, in the Centre-du-Québec region, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. Created in 1977 by damming the Bulstrode River, the reservoir provides drinking water for the city and nearby communities. The site is surrounded by an urban recreational park with an on-site service pavilion, a water play area, hiking trails, and a cycling path. The site also has small woodlots and a shrubby marsh

Birds

During fall migration, this site harbours significant numbers of gulls and geese. Since 1996, high numbers of Greater Snow Geese (subspecies atlanticus) have been recorded here, with a high of 40,000 in 1997; this peak number represents about 6% of the total population of this subspecies. Other waterfowl found here in noteworthy numbers include American Black Duck (380 in 1986), Black Scoter (480 in 1988), Common Merganser (700 in 1990) and Red-breasted Merganser (130 in 1988).

Ring-billed Gulls gathers in large numbers, starting in mid-August, when their numbers start to reach a few thousand individuals. Eventually their numbers peak in October, such as in 1993, when 10,000 birds were recorded. This is a nationally significant number. Few of these birds are found in the reservoir during the day: they leave at dawn to feed in the surrounding fields and return to spend the night on the water. Another gull species, the Herring Gull, also congregates here in good, but less significant, numbers, with 2,000 birds in 1988, which is close to 1% of the North American population.

So far, 224 species of birds have been recorded at this site. The high concentration of waterbirds using the reservoir is probably linked to the absence of hunters and the uniqueness of this site as a refuge for local gregarious birds. At peak times in October, ducks, geese, and gulls numbers exceed 60,000 individuals. Several species of land birds also use the reservoir in high numbers for roosting in the fall. The following are some of the peak counts for certain species: 4,000 American Crows (1989), 17,251 European Starlings (1989), 2,500 Red-winged Blackbirds (1988), 1,000 Common Grackles (1988) and 700 Brown-headed Cowbirds (1988).

A few species that are nationally at risk can be observed at the reservoir occasionally, albeit in low numbers: Harlequin Duck (endangered), Peregrine Falcon (threatened), Red-shouldered Hawk (vulnerable) and Red-headed Woodpecker (vulnerable). Several species which are rare or at risk in Quebec, such as Horned Grebe, Barrow's Goldeneye, Bald Eagle, Cooper's Hawk and Caspian Tern, can also be seen occasionally during migration.

Conservation Issues

The reservoir acts as a natural sedimentation pond for the Bulstrode River subwatershed. With 8900 cubic metres of sediments deposited each year, the water depth is rapidly decreasing. Thus, the water warming process is accelerated and it creates a favourable environment for the proliferation of blue-green algae. The City of Victoriaville is exploring opportunities to dredge the reservoir bottom in order to mitigate the risks of contamination of its source of drinking water. The methods used, the time of the year chosen for the dredging operations and the sediment storage site are important aspects to consider since they may have adverse impacts on the quality and availability of the habitats used by birds. Furthermore, the reservoir being a source of drinking water, the discharging of wastewater is prohibited. Increased human activity around the reservoir is a possible source of disturbance to breeding or migrating birds. Multiples pressures have been identified for this site, including the growing popularity of paragliding activities over the reservoir during the Snow Goose migration period and the development of a 70-unit residential complex planned for 2014.

IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status
Snow Goose
Number Year Season
135,000 - 150,0002016Fall
60,000 - 70,0002015Winter
60,000 - 100,0002015Fall
150,0002014Fall
75,000 - 110,0002013Fall
20,000 - 110,0002012Fall
20,0002011Winter
30,000 - 100,0002011Fall
20,000 - 100,0002010Fall
85,000 - 100,0002007Fall
70,0002006Fall
75,000 - 100,0002005Fall
40,000 - 65,0002003Fall
20,0002002Fall
40,0001997Fall