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Fauna and Flora

The mammals

The woodland caribou is surely the major wildlife attraction of SIA Quebec. The presence of caribou south of the St. Lawrence is an exceptional fact; the two hundred or so caribou are the last representatives of the herds that once lived in southern Quebec and the northern United States.

This population has undergone several fluctuations during its history. When the Parc de la Gaspésie was created in 1937, there were approximately 1,000 caribou. Many factors can cause a decline in population, such as predation, disease and human activities.

In order to give the best possible chance to the relic caribou herd, we suggest that, while hiking in the mountains, stay on the trails so as not to disturb them. Caribou have poor eyesight, so it is best to watch them not move. A curious animal, the caribou will be admired; thus, you will have satisfied your curiosity and hers without disturbing our hosts in their fragile habitat.

The Sentier International des Appalaches sector de la Gaspésie also stands out as being the only place in Quebec where we find our three deer: white-tailed deer, moose and woodland caribou.

There is also an unusual concentration of moose in some areas of the trail. Indeed, we observe the highest density of moose in Quebec, about 2 moose per km2. This large number of moose is largely due to 2 factors, namely the absence of hunting on the park territory since 1937 and a low predation in the latter.

During the summer season (spring and summer), you can frequently observe moose at the edge of water bodies at the beginning and at the end of the day. Some improvements are planned for this purpose, such as the Lac Paul observatory.

It is also possible to see the black bear, the coyote, the red fox, the beaver, etc. and a very small and rare species in Canada, the Gaspé shrew.

The birds

Wherever you are, whatever you do, you will always see and hear birds there. The Trail has recorded over 140 species of birds due to the diversity of habitats in this mountain environment.

The common pipit, the gray-cheeked thrush and the horned lark are the most representative species occupying the high peaks. Some of the more spectacular birds include the Golden Eagle, Harlequin Duck, Grouse, and Black-backed Woodpecker.

Amphibians and reptiles

More discreet, these small animals can be heard or seen quite easily in the spring (during the breeding period) and during the hot and rainy nights of summer. The American toad is the most abundant species, but you can also find the striped snake, several species of frogs and salamanders including the spotted salamander.

The fish

One of the reasons for the creation of the Parc de la Gaspésie in 1937 was the preservation of Atlantic salmon from the Sainte-Anne river. In addition to this species, let us mention the presence of brook trout (speckled trout), lake trout (gray trout) and grayling (red trout). This last species is special because the few individuals present in certain lakes bordering the Appalachian Trail are the remains of a population dating from the end of the last glaciation.

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