The Canadian Shield is home to moose caribou, bears, muskrats, wolves, woodchucks, moose, raccoons, beavers, coyotes, foxes, wolverines, weasels, deer, mink and otters. Atlantic salmon, eight different species of whales, seals, walleye rock bass, largemouth bass, muskies and Northern pike are creatures that are commonly found in nearby water.
The Canadian Shield's wildlife rely heavily on lakes throughout the area as a source of drinking water, and as well as a habitat for some. These areas are populated by seabirds, such as loons and herons. The lakes are often unusually clear because of a lack of vegetation. Vegetation does not grow because the granite rock under the lakes does not dissolve, which causes a lack of mineral food resources for bacteria, algae and plankton, which are necessary for vegetation to grow.
Downed trees are the main food source for fish. Beavers chew trees, which fall into the shore banks, providing minerals and nutrients so vegetation can grow. These areas provide food, as well as protection for fish. The shores with fallen trees are also common hunting grounds for fish, due to the many crevices that can be used for ambushing prey. The water banks are also ideal fishing spots for small mammals, such as muskrats, otters and beavers.