The beaver is so common in Québec that there are no fewer than 350 lakes, ponds, rivers and other bodies of water that carry the French name for beaver, Castor! There are also three Beaver Dams, built not by the popular rodent, but by people!

Wildlife observation

Vibrant and abundant!

Photo. From the Canada goose to the great blue heron, from the moose to the humpback whale, more than 650 animal species—including 200 fish and 325 bird species—inhabit Québec’s carefully preserved territory. Many of these species can be seen in the wilderness or by chance during a stroll through the forest, say, in one of Québec’s national parks or wildlife reserves.

The same goes for marine mammals, including whales—the St. Lawrence Estuary is teeming with them—migratory birds and numerous land mammals, such as cervids (white-tailed deer, moose, caribou and more), bears and beavers.

Whale watchingForest dwellersBird watching

Forest dwellers

Life, everywhere you look!

Québec’s forests are home to many large mammals like the white-tailed deer, moose, black bear and caribou (which also roams the taiga and tundra). With a little patience, attentiveness and luck, you can share a few treasured moments with these splendid beasts as they move about their natural habitats. It’s also not uncommon to see beaver swimming silently along the wooded banks. Your forest stay will have plenty of other surprises in store, too, so keep a sharp lookout!


PhotoFound in most Québec regions, the white-tailed deer is frequently encountered at a bend in the trail, the edge of the woods or even around certain villages, and is an arresting sight, with its graceful silhouette. The deer are at their most abundant on the Île d’Anticosti in the Duplessis region: over 120,000 inhabit the island.


PhotoMoose, the largest members of the cervid (deer) family, are another fairly common sight in Québec. The Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier, 45 minutes north of Québec City, organizes moose-watching safaris. Further east, the Réserve faunique de Matane in the Gaspésie, which has the greatest concentration of moose in Québec, offers a range of activities to facilitate observation, including an interpretation centre, wildlife observation tours, trails and salt licks. The park also offers guided activities and holiday packages, all in the interest of getting visitors acquainted with this majestic, iconic animal.


The PhotoBaie-James and Nunavik regions are home to massive herds of caribou: nearly one million head in total. Known as “reindeer” in Europe and Asia, these elegant creatures roam far and wide throughout the year over vast tracts of land. Exceptionally, a few dozen individuals may be observed further south in the higher reaches of the Parc national des Grands-Jardins (Charlevoix), and in the Parc national de la Gaspésie, where they coexist with deer and moose.

Black bear

PhotoThe black bear, the only member of the bear family, other than the polar bear, to inhabit Québec, is found in most of Québec’s forests. Observation of this omnivore in its natural habitat—a rigorously supervised activity—is possible at the Réserve faunique des Laurentides, the Station touristique Duchesnay (near Québec City), and near Montebello in the Outaouais region.


PhotoThe beaver’s lodges and dams are easy enough to spot, but the animal itself remains somewhat retiring. However, it is not uncommon to meet a beaver or two in the course of a canoeing or kayaking trip. Friendly humans can find out more about this industrious little creature at many of Québec’s national parks, including the Jacques-Cartier, Aiguebelle, Pointe-Taillon, Oka and Plaisance parks.

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