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| What is a Mammal | Species in Quebec | About Data |
| Shrews and Moles | Bats | Rabbits and Hares | Rodents | Whales and Porpoises |
| Carnivores | Seals and Walruses | Ungulates |


What is a mammal?

Mammals are easily distinguished from other animals and generally share the following characteristics:

Fur: While some other animals may appear to have hair (e.g. some kinds of spiders), the presence of true fur is a unique mammalian characteristic.

Air breathers: All mammals breathe air; even the ones that live in water must come to the surface to breathe.

Live birth and lactation: All mammals, except for a very few remote forms not found in North America, give birth to live young and produce milk via mammary glands to feed them.

Warm-blooded: All mammals are endothermic ("warm-blooded"). This feature is not unique to mammals as birds are also endothermic. Since mammals are able to internally regulate their body temperature, they can tolerate a wide range of temperature. Consequently, mammals have adapted to every major surface environment in North America.

There are many other features that distinguish mammals from other animals including brain structure and bone formation but the above features are the most easily observed.

(Caras,1967 )

How many species are there in Quebec?

In total, Quebec has 89 species of mammals living in terrestrial, freshwater or saltwater ecosystems. Below, we have listed all the species, by order.

A camera, text or globe icon next to a species' name indicates a link to a photo, description or distribution map of that species.

Shrews and Moles (Order Insectivora)
Arctic Shrew Sorex arcticus     map
Masked Shrew Sorex cinereus     map
Longtail Shrew Sorex dispar     map
Smoky Shrew Sorex fumeus     map
Gaspe Shrew Sorex gaspensis     map
Northern Water Shrew Sorex palustris     map
Pygmy Shrew Microsorex hoyi     map
Shorttail Shrew Blarina brevicauda     map
Hairytail Mole Parascalops breweri     map
Starnose Mole Condylura cristata photo   map
Bats (Order Chiroptera)
Small Footed Myotis Myotis leibii      
Little Brown Bat Myotis lucifugus photo    
Keen Myotis Myotis keenii photo    
Silver-Haired Bat Lasionycteris noctivigans      
Eastern Pipistril Pipistrellus subflavus      
Big Brown Bat Eptisicus fuscus      
Red Bat Lasiurus borealis photo    
Hoary Bat Lasiurus cinereus      
Rabbits and Hares (Order Lagomorpha)
Snowshoe Hare Lepus americanus photo    
Arctic Hare Lepus arcticus      
Eastern Cottontail Sylvilagus floridanus photo    
New England Cottontail Sylvilagus transitionalis      
Rodents (Order Rodentia)
Woodchuck Marmota monax photo    
Eastern Chipmunk Tamias striatus photo    
Least Chipmunk Eutamias minimus      

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Sciurus carolinensis photo    
Red Squirrel Tamiasciuris hudsonicus photo    
Northern Flying Squirrel Glaucomys sabrinicus      
Southern Flying Squirrel Glaucomys volans photo    
Beaver Castor canadensis photo    
White-Footed Mouse Peromyscus leucopus photo   map
Deer Mouse Peromyscus maniculatus photo   map
Hudson Bay Collared Lemming Dicrostonyx hudsonicus     map
Northern Bog Lemming Synaptomys borealis     map
Southern Bog Lemming Synaptomys cooperi     map
Boreal Redback Vole Clethrionomys gapperi     map
Mountain Phenacomys Phenacomys intermedius     map
Yellownose Vole Microtus chrotorrhinus     map
Meadow Vole Micotus pennsylvanicus     map
Woodland Vole Micotus pinetorum     map
Muskrat Ondatra zibethicus photo    
Norway Rat Rattus norvegicus     map
House Mouse Mus musculus     map
Meadow Jumping Mouse Zapus hudsonicus     map
Woodland Jumping Mouse  Napeozapus insignis     map
Porcupine Erethizon dorsatum      
Whales and Porpoises (Order Cetecea)
Northern Bottlenose Whale Hyperoodon ampullatus      
Beluga Whale Delphinapterus leucus photo    
Narwhal Monodon monocerus      
Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin Lagenorhyncus acutus      
White-Beaked Dolphin Lagenorhyncus albirostris      
Killer Whale Orcinus orca      
Long-Finned Pilot Whale Globicephala melaena      
Harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena      
Minke Whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata      
Fin Whale Balaenoptera physalus      
Blue Whale Balaenoptera musculus      
Humpback Whale Megoptera novaeangliae      
Biscayan Right Whale Eubalaena glacialis      
Bowhead Whale Balaena mysticetus      
Carnivores (Order Carnivora)
Coyote Canis latrans photo    
Gray Wolf Canis lupus photo    

Arctic Fox

Alopex lagopus photo    
Red Fox Vulpes vulpes photo    
Gray Fox Urocyon cinereoargenteus      
Black Bear Ursus americanus photo   map
Polar Bear Ursus maritimus photo   map
Raccoon Procyon lotor photo    
Marten Martes americana photo    
Fisher Martes pennanti photo    
Shorttail Weasel Mustela erminea      
Longtail Weasel Mustela frenata photo    
Least Weasel Mustela nivalis photo    
Mink Mustela vison photo    
Wolverine Gulo gulo photo    
Striped Skunk Mephitis mephitis photo    
River Otter Lutra canadensis photo    
Mountain Lion Felis concolor cougar photo    
Lynx Lynx canadensis photo   map
Bobcat Lynx rufus photo   map
Seals and Walruses (Order Pinnipedia)
Walrus Odobenus rosmarus photo    
Ringed Seal Phoca hispida      
Harbour Seal Phoca vitulina photo    
Bearded Seal Erignathus barbatus photo    
Grey Seal Halichoerus grypsus      
Harp Seal Pagophilus groenlandicus      
Ungulates (Order Artiodactyla)
Whitetail Deer Odocoileus virginianus photo   map
Moose Alces alces photo   map
Woodland Caribou Rangifer tarandus caribou photo   map

About the data in these maps

Small mammals: Data on the species distribution of small mammals was kindly provided by the Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Faune, Service de la faune terrestre. This data has been compiled over the last 4 years and comes from many different sources, including capture records and museum databases. Since the collection of small mammal data is an on-going effort, the distributions shown in these maps don't give the full picture. Distribution data is still scarce for central and northern Quebec. As well, because of the nature of the data, one cannot account for "false negatives". In other words, if there are no accounts of a species for a given area, we don't know whether this is because it is not found there or because we haven't looked for it there.

Thus, it is helpful to view these maps as an approximation of small mammal distribution in southern Quebec. Quebec MEF is currently preparing to publish an atlas of small mammals for Quebec. For more information on this upcoming resource, see Morin, 1997.

Large mammals: Data on the distribution of large game mammals was provided by the Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Faune, Service de la faune terrestre. Information on large mammals in Quebec is gathered from harvesting or mortality records collected by the government. Although the government has been collecting this data since 1971, we have mapped only distributions based on 1997 records. As with the small mammal data, this data is not based on systematic sampling but on observation records and is, therefore, subject to the same limitations: these represent only an approximation of the actual distribution of large mammals and we cannot account for "false negatives" in the data.

The mammal species list was based on Prescott and Caron, 1982.


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