Quebec's Anticosti Island has been added to the list of UNESCO world heritage sites.
The agency's world heritage committee announced today that the island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence is being formally recognized on the United Nations's list of places with outstanding universal value to humanity.
According to UNESCO's website, Quebec's largest island is the most complete and best-preserved paleontological record of the first mass extinction of animal life — 447 million to 437 million years ago.
It says the island will allow world-class scientists to study the best-preserved fossil record of marine life covering 10 million years of Earth history.
Hélène Boulanger, mayor of the municipality of Anticosti Island, describes the heritage designation as the beginning of a new era for the island, adding that its infrastructure needs to be improved to accommodate an expected influx of visitors.
The Quebec government announced in 2017 that it was ending oil and gas exploration on Anticosti Island to protect its natural character and support the province's bid to make the territory a world heritage site.