Each spring the abundance of water in the Boreal Shield Ecozone attracts hundreds of thousands of ducks, loons, geese and swans. They come either to breed or simply rest and feed before flying on to more northerly nesting grounds. Among the more common waterfowl species that summer here are the Bufflehead, American Black Duck, Wood Duck, Ring-necked Duck and Canada Goose. Also found are the Boreal Owl, Great Horned Owl, Evening Grosbeak and Blue Jay. The songbird perhaps most often associated with this part of the Canadian Shield is the White-throated Sparrow.
Among the characteristic mammals of this ecozone are Woodland Caribou, White-tailed Deer, Moose, Black Bear, Wolf, Lynx, Snowshoe Hare, Fisher, Marten and Striped Skunk. The ecozone’s many wetlands, ponds, rivers and lakes provide important habitats for Beaver, Muskrat and Mink.
In the Atlantic marine environment, typical mammals include Grey, Harp and Hooded seals and Sperm, Killer, Atlantic Pilot, Fin and Blue whales. The endangered Northern Right and Bowhead whales and threatened Humpback Whale are also found in this region.
The biologically-rich marine areas off Quebec’s north shore as well as the continental shelf of Newfoundland and Labrador are vital to Canada’s commercial fisheries. The rocky shores of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Newfoundland coast provide exceptional nesting habitat for many seabirds. Lake Trout, Lake Whitefish, Burbot and Northern Pike are among the most common fish species thriving in the ecozone’s many freshwater lakes and rivers.