Computerized Database of Quebec Seabirds – About

The Computerized Database of Quebec Seabirds (CDQS) was set and has been updated by the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS), (Quebec region,) for over 20 years. First included are data collected by the CWS during its inventories of St. Lawrence seabird colonies, (River, Estuary and Gulf).

Because of the difficulty of gaining access to seabird colonies and because of their vulnerability to disturbances, amateur ornithologists and their observations cannot suffice to ensure the proper monitoring of seabird populations in Quebec. The data from CWS’s marine bird surveys complemented by those from other sources, meet the needs to assessing the situation of different bird species.

The CDSQ contains information on seabird colonies part of the following species: Gaviidae (loons), Hydrobatidae (petrels), Sulidae (gannets/boobies), Phalacrocoracidae (cormorants), Laridae (seagulls, gulls, terns), and Auks (guillemots, penguins, puffins). The Anatidae have often been found in the same nesting sites as other seabirds within the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The species has traditionally been inventoried at the same time as the latter. In addition, a lot of information on the Eider in the estuary has been gathered thanks to the fact that main colonies are visited upon annually for down picking, during which time colony size estimates are produced.

Database objectives

This database is designed to keep track of the status, distribution and population trends of nesting seabirds in Quebec, particularly within the St. Lawrence system. The monitoring of population trends and the maintaining of the database contribute to directing research toward species showing worrisome trends (e.g., the Northern Gannet), in order to place them on the endangered species list (e.g., Caspian Tern), to justify the protection of a particularly important site for nesting, to document the impact of conservation measures or environmental issues. Ultimately, these follow-ups and studies in relation to their resulting projects help maintain our avian biodiversity. Over time, the database allows us to see the long-term evolution of certain seabird populations.

These data may already have been published. Here are examples of publications produced with this data:


The CDSQ is made possible thanks to the involvement of many partners:

  • Parks Canada (e.g.: Mingan, Forillon)
  • Government of Quebec (e.g.: MLCP, MRNFP, FAPAQ, Faune et Parcs, etc.)
  • Several non-governmental organizations (Duvetnor Ltée, la Société pour la protection des Eiders de l’Estuaire, le CEGEP de Baie-Comeau, la Société de développement de Ragueneau, Attention Frag’Îles, etc.), Quebec ornithology clubs, amateur birdwatchers, etc.

In short, any credible source can help to maintain and improve the CDSQ.