Vaudray and Joannes Reserve

Vaudray and Joannes Lakes biodiversity reserve is located in the Abitibi-Temiscamingue Region, to the south of Highway 117, roughly 37 km east of Rouyn-Noranda City.

The reserve covers a total area of 181 square kilometres. It includes the watersheds of both Vaudray Lake and Joannes Lake. To the north, the biodiversity reserve borders on the Canadian National railway linking Rouyn-Noranda to Val-d’Or. The reserve protects ecosystems representative of the natural region of the Lake Temiscamingue Lowlands.

The reserve is part of the watershed of the Outaouais River, and it includes 28 kettle lakes. The kettle lakes are formed as pits of glaciofluvial origin. Vaudray Lake and Joannes Lake are obviously the two largest, covering a respective area of 7.6 and 4.5 square kilometres. Over three-quarters of the territory of the Reserve are forest-covered, mainly by softwood stands on the high ground and mixed stands on the slopes.

Black spruce (Picea mariana) is the dominant species, often accompanied by white spruce (Picea glauca), balsam fir (Abies balsamea), white birch (Betula papyrifera) and trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides). Stands over 90 years in age represent 12% of the forest cover.

The depressions, poorly drained, are occupied by peat bogs and alder groves. One-tenth of the area has been logged. Joannes Lake is a favourable nesting site for the red-necked grebe (Podiceps grisegena). Because of its rarity, the red-necked grebe is a protected species.

There are dozens of private cottages and a holiday camp (Centre récréatif du Lac Joannès) within the Reserve. This Centre operates under the authority of a private charter. All activities in the Reserve are carried on according the provisions of the Natural Heritage Conservation Act. Mining, and gas or petroleum development and exploration, as well as brine and underground reservoir exploration, prospecting, and digging or boring, and so on, are prohibited with the territory.

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