Covering an area almost three times the size of Texas and with over 12% of this Canadian province covered in freshwater, Quebec is unsurprisingly rich in wildlife. Given that there are 650 species found in the region alone, it was impossible to fit all of the Quebec animals onto this list; instead, these are the seven most fascinating.
American black bear
The world’s most common species of bear, the American black bear is found widely across the US, Mexico and Eastern Canada. In Quebec, the subspecies, the Eastern black bear is known to roam in forested areas and national parks.
Jet black in color and 5-6ft. (150cm-180cm) from nose to tail, they can run up to 28mph (45kmph) and have sharp claws which allow them to easily climb trees.
The American black bear isn’t the only species of bear inhabiting Quebec; polar bears are also present in this province – although the two species’ habitats are very different.
The largest concentration of these bears is found further around the Canadian coast in Churchill, but Akpatok Island, about 70km off the coast of northern Quebec, is where large numbers of polar bears go during the summer. Here, they hunt seals when the ice is plentiful and head towards land to begin building their dens when it starts to recede.
As one of the larger species of bear, the polar bear can weigh up to 1500lb (700kg) and spends most of its life on sea ice.
A little less photogenic than the previous two Quebec animals, the star-nosed mole is a very unusual species that has adapted in a unique way to being almost completely blind.
To help them “see”, they have 22 fleshy tentacles that protrude from their noses and which are used as a touch organ thanks to over 100,000 nerve endings packed into the snout.
You’ll find them in areas with damp soil, such as in deciduous forests, wet meadows and peatlands in Canada and other parts of eastern North America.
While the other Quebec animals on this list are a little more reserved in color, the male indigo bunting proves that there’s plenty of lively creatures to be found in this province.
Nicknamed “blue canaries” for their distinctive plumage, they have a cheerful song which is best heard through late spring and summer in eastern North America, particularly in shrubby areas with plenty of trees.
Affectionately referred to as the “sea parrot”, the Atlantic puffin is a species found in colonies on remote islands across Quebec, particularly in the Gulf of St. Lawrence off the eastern coast of the province.
Numbers of the Atlantic puffin have been growing steadily since the 1970s, a trend attributed to an increase in capelin and sand lance, species of fish preferred by this bird.
North American beaver
The official animal symbol of Canada, the North American beaver is the largest rodent in the continent, weighing up to 71lb (32kg) when mature.
A hardworking species, they build “lodges” using sticks and branches in lakes and streams and use these materials to also establish sturdy dams. These create flooded areas of deep water which helps them to escape from predators.
The largest species on the planet (and the biggest believed to have ever existed), the blue whale grows up to 98ft (30m) in length and can weigh in at an incredible 191 tons (173 tonnes).
This huge marine mammal is known to inhabit the Gulf of St. Lawrence in a group that’s estimated to include 500 individuals.