Great Canadian Parks / Québec

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The Parks / Québec / Saguenay-St. Lawrence National Park



 


 

Beluga whales, rated "in danger of extinction", inhabit the estuary full time, congregating in the upper estuary and the fjord as far as Saint Fulgence during summer and autumn, and moving downstream to the lower estuary and the Gulf of St. Lawrence during winter. Harbour porpoises, another endangered species, minke whales, fin whales and blue whales all visit the park regularly and can be seen from points along the shoreline such as Pointe de lÆIslet. Rare sightings of humpback whales, sperm whales and white dolphins have been made from the parkÆs rocky shores. The park also protects staging areas for the small populations of harbour seal, harp seal and grey seal. Much of the food supply for the larger mammals can be divided into three major classifications of plant and animal organisms: plankton, such as sea grass and some crustaceans living in suspension; benthos, such as soft-shelled clams, mussels, sponges and starfish, found living along the riverbottom; and nekton “ mostly fish - that move actively throughout the water. Atlantic cod, red fish, and Greenland halibut are found in the deeper parts of both rivers. Smelt, herring, and capelin inhabit the entire estuary. The Atlantic salmon and brook trout are migratory fish and stickleback, flounder, eel and shad arrive in the intertidal zone only at high tide.

 

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