Lake Saint-François National Wildlife Area (NWA) is located on the south shore of Lake Saint-François, a natural widening of the St. Lawrence River, in southwestern Quebec. Created in 1978 by Environment Canada, its purpose is to protect a unique group of wetlands with an exceptionally diverse fauna and flora. The area is recognized as a Wetland of International Significance under the Ramsar Convention.
The wildlife area is made up mainly of swamps and marshes consisting of sedge and cattail plant communities, wooded wetlands populated by Red Maple stands, as well as well-drained woods featuring communities dominated by hawthorn, hickory and maple. The biodiversity of the area is among the most remarkable in Quebec, as it is home to more than 287 animal species and 547 plant species, many of which are at risk.
Some 13 species of waterfowl, including the Canada Goose, the Mallard, the American Black Duck, the Wood Duck, and the Lesser Scaup, nest in the wildlife area. During migration periods, thousands of ducks use the marshes and adjoining open waters. Of the 237 listed bird species of the NWA, many land birds and waterbirds nest in the area, including the Northern Waterthrush, the Veery, and the Sandhill Crane. The wildlife area is also home to one of the largest Sedge Wren populations in Canada. The Blue-spotted Salamander, Eastern Common Garter Snake, and Snapping Turtle are among the amphibians and reptiles observed here. The Muskrat, Meadow Jumping Mouse, Big Brown Bat, Beaver, White-tailed Deer, and Coyote are some of the mammal species present. The site is also an important habitat for species at risk such as the Butternut, Yellow Rail, and Northern Map Turtle.