What Type of Wildlife Is in the Canadian Shield?


There is a large variety of wildlife in the Canadian Shield, also called the Boreal Shield, including waterfowl, land animals, mammals and fish. According to the Ecological Framework of Canada, the variety of wildlife can be attributed to the many different areas that make up the ecozone. For example, the caribou settles in the forests, which have an abundance of lichen, the caribou’s favorite food.

Spring brings forth an abundance of water, which attracts thousands of ducks, loons, geese and swans. Two reasons for this are to breed and to rest before flying further north to nesting grounds. In the summer, there are a variety of waterfowl, including the bufflehead, American black duck, wood duck, ringneck duck and Canadian goose.

Some land animals include the woodland caribou, moose, snowshoe hare, fisher, marten, black bear, wolf, lynx, striped skunk and white-tailed deer. The wetlands, ponds, rivers and lakes provide good homes for beaver, muskrat and minks.

The ocean environment includes a variety of mammals, the most common being harp and hooded seals, grey whales, killer whales, Atlantic pilot whales, sperm whales, blue whales and fin whales. The Northern right and bowhead whales, which are endangered, also occupy the region. The areas off the north shores of Quebec and the continental shelf of Newfoundland and Labrador are important to commercial fishing. Lake trout, lake whitefish, northern pike and burbot are the most common fish found in the Canadian Shield.