Home Island Presentation 13th September 2017
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Island Presentation

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The Fauna of Miquelon

“This english translated version is made available for those who cannot read French. Translating from your own language into a foreign language is not an easy task, the translator is quite aware of its limitation and will welcome any suggestions. Thanks.”

Due to the glaciations, the native mammalian fauna is scarce. The main mammals : White-tailed deer, snowshoe hare and arctic hare have been introduced for hunting. The red fox is of uncertain origin. We think he might have crossed from the neighbouring island of Newfoundland on the ice, although the suitable conditions are rather exceptional. As for the Meadow vole, it is present only in St. Pierre and on Grand Colombier island. It has probably been introduced with imported hay.

The marine mammalian fauna is richer. The harbour seal is present year round, particularly on the salt lagoon of Grand Barachois. The Grey seal is present on the salt lagoon as well and around the islands from spring to fall. Other species are less common or casual : Hooded seal and Harp seal. The whales are often obvious : humpback, finback, minke, Killer whale, as well as Dolphins : White-beaked, white-sided, common etc. See the website :http://lebaleineau.com/

We must also emphasize that, again due to the glaciations, the freshwater fishes are totally absent. All our species go to the sea at one time in their life cycle as anadromous (reproducing in fresh water) : brook trout, rainbow smelt, sticklebacks, Atlantic salmon, and as catadromous (reproducing in salt water) : American eel. So, the re-colonisation of our islands by these species occurred from the sea as soon as conditions became favourable. Since that period some species became isolated from the sea.

 

 

If the mammalian fauna is not too diverse, the avian fauna is rich : close to 320 species of birds have been recorded here, about 90 species breed, some of them reaching here their southern limits in North America, as it is the case for the red-throated loon.

The coastal waters are a good wintering area for several thousands common eiders, long-tailed ducks and other species of sea ducks and alcids (murres). We must also mention a winter and spring concentration or red-necked grebes that are probably the most important of the whole Atlantic coast. 

It is a richness that we share with our Canadian neighbours with which we collaborate and exchange information. Contacts with the Canadian Wildlife Service are frequent.

The lagoon of Grand Barachois harbour several species of ducks, mostly from fall to spring, while the shores are utilized by numerous shorebird species from mid-July to November.

Terrestrial birds are common as well from spring to fall : sparrows, warblers, flycatchers, and year round : golden-crowned kinglets, chickadees, horned lark.

A local bird website is available : http://perso.wanadoo.fr/iles-et-ailes/.

Patrick Boez website, http://www.patrickboez.com has a lot of images of our island and a bird-dedicated gallery with a lot of species photographed locally.

Finally, we have a newsgroup dedicated to birds but also to marine mammals, plants, arthropods etc. … http://www.spmaviavis.com/cgi-bin/discus/discus.cgi





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