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Appalachian


Natural Region 30

WILDLIFE:

"In the Gaspé the hunter does not lack as often game as shot and powder."

This statement from a late nineteenth-century tourist brochure gives an indication of the past wealth of wildlife in this area. Like the vegetation the wildlife shows marked influences from both north and south. Caribou, which once flourished throughout the central mountains, have been gone for over a century except for an isolated herd in Gaspsie Provincial Park. The wolf and wolverine have also disappeared from the region. Species such as moose, black bear, red fox, lynx, snowshoe hare and others that thrive in boreal forests followed the retreat of the glaciers. Others, such as white-tailed deer, coyotes and groundhogs, moved into the region after settlers had cleared the land for farms and towns.

The red-walled cliffs and islets are home to thousands of sea and coastal birds. Bona-venture Island, one of many Migratory Bird Sanctuaries found in this region, supports a colony of gannets, common murres and a few puffins.

Herring Gull
Herring Gull
© Parks Canada

Gulls, black guillemots, razor-bills, double-crested cormorants and blacklegged kittiwakes nest on narrow ledges and atop cliffs. Along the south shore of the St. Lawrence flocks of migrating waterfowl congregate on the tidal flats.

STATUS OF NATIONAL PARKS:

Forillon National Park (240 km2) represents the Notre Dame Mountains and the boreal forest and coastal zone elements of this region. It includes a 160-metre-wide marine component extending along the coast. The park is noted for its abundance of marine mammals and birds. Double-crested cormorants, black guillemots, blacklegged kittiwakes and razorbills nest on the coastal cliffs. Atlantic puffins, Leach's petrels and common murres feed in the fertile waters offshore. Harbour and grey seals regularly haul out on shoals and rocky points, while many species of whales - harbour porpoises, pilot whales, minke, sei, finback and humpback - are often seen from shore.

Cap Bon Ami, Forillon National Park
Cap Bon Ami,
Forillon National Park

© Parks Canada

National Region 30
National Region 30
© Parks Canada

The richness of the sea has always been linked to man's presence here. The first European explorers found Micmac and Iroquois who had travelled here in summer to fish. In the eighteenth century, fishing villages based on the export of dried cod to Europe and the Caribbean were established along the coast. The traditional lifestyle of the cod fishermen of this region is a major focus of the park's interpretation program. Forillon was established in 1970 pursuant to a federal-provincial agreement with the Government of Quebec.


National Parks System Plan, 3rd Edition

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