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Moose. Photo: CHOK Images

Top 5 – Wildlife-Watching Sites in Gaspésie in the Fall

On land, at sea or in a river, enjoy watching wildlife in Gaspésie! Here are five places where you can observe various species in our region.

Croisières aux baleines à Forillon
Whale watching cruise in Forillon. Photo: Kim Meyer

Whales and seals, Forillon National Park and Percé

In a sightseeing boat or Zodiac, observe blue whales, minke whales, common dolphins, North Atlantic right whales, basking sharks and other marine species off Percé and Gaspé. Explore the maritime landscapes of Gaspésie in complete safety and comfort while discovering the fascinating lives of marine mammals with interpreter guides and experienced captains from Croisières Baie de Gaspé.

Go sea kayaking along the coast off Percé or Forillon and enjoy delightful encounters with the many grey and harbour seals that like to bask on long flat rocks in this area. You can also go for a guided sea kayaking excursion with Cap Aventure (Forillon), Avolo Plein Air (Percé) or Eskamer Aventure (Sainte-Anne-des-Monts).

Caribous, parc national de la Gaspésie.
Caribous, parc national de la Gaspésie. Photo: Éric Deschamps, Le Québec maritime

Caribou, birds and moose at parc national de la Gaspésie

The second highest peak in Québec, Mount Jacques-Cartier is covered in tundra-type vegetation, an essential habitat for caribou. You may also spot these animals during a hike up the mountain; however, please stay on the trails and only hike during the prescribed schedule to avoid disturbing the caribou. Note that the herd in the Gaspésie National Park is the only one found south of the St. Lawrence River.

At the top of Mount Albert, you may observe several species of birds, including American three-toed woodpeckers, black-backed woodpeckers, olive-sided flycatchers, merlin, great horned owls, broad-winged hawks, golden eagles and fox sparrows, whose cries can be heard for miles. Caribou are also found on this peak, though in smaller numbers than on Mount Jacques-Cartier.

On Mount Ernest-Laforce, keep your eyes peeled and you may spot moose! The mountain provides the perfect environment for this species, which likes to feed on aquatic plants found in lakes and ponds. Moose also appreciate the forest in this area, which is primarily made up of yellow birch, young fir trees and various shrubs.

Exploramer
Exploramer. Photo: CHOK images

Exploramer, Discovering the Sea, Sainte-Anne-des-Monts

The aquariums at Exploramer present a living collection of fish and other marine life that live in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence. You will be able to observe over 1000 individual organisms from 60 different species! Exploramer also offers guided tours with biologists, touch basins where you can handle certain species (such as crabs, starfish and sea cucumbers), and various interactive exhibitions revealing surprising facets of the St. Lawrence. These activities are offered until October 4. You can also participate in an excursion aboard a Zodiac, to explore the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Please note that from September 1 to October 4, you must book this sea excursion at least 24 hours in advance.

Colonie de fous de Bassan sur l'île Bonaventure.
Gannets. Photo: Mathieu Dupuis

Parc national de l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Percé

Over 200,000 nesting birds from 11 different species congregate in the seabird colonies in Parc national de l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, making this the largest migratory bird sanctuary in North America! During a boat excursion around Percé Rock and Bonaventure Island or on foot on the island’s trails, you can observe superb species, including the most accessible northern gannet colony in the world, which is home to 116,000 birds! The park also preserves a rich natural, historical and geological heritage. Discover the park’s built heritage, which bears witness to the lives of the people who inhabited Bonaventure Island in the 19th century. The park is open until October 12. To discover other sites where you can observe birds, visit our Birdwatching Tour page.

Cougar, Bioparc de la Gaspésie
Cougar, Bioparc de la Gaspésie. Photo: Roger Saint-Laurent.

Bioparc Wildlife Park, Bonaventure

Home to some 40 animal species that are indigenous to Gaspésie, the Bioparc de la Gaspésie offers you the opportunity to enjoy close encounters with local wildlife. Stroll along the outdoor trails to see the animals in settings that evoke their natural habitats. The wildlife park is also home to a pavilion featuring reptiles and amphibians from Québec (including frogs, salamanders, turtles and snakes); interactive modules and a games app for mobile devices will help you discover this mysterious world. You can also observe about 20 live species and over 1000 mounted specimens in the insectarium. At the little farm, you can interact with the barnyard animals (including ponies, cows, donkeys, hens and rabbits) and can pet goats, sheep and pigs. The Bioparc is open to the public daily until September 27.

Are you looking forward to seeing wildlife in Gaspésie on land, at sea or in a river? To be in the loop, visit tourisme-gaspesie.com and plan your trip today! #gaspesieautumn

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