The Québec Government is responsible for the conservation of wildlife and wildlife habitats, in a manner consistent with sustainable development and supported by up-to-date knowledge. It also promotes wealth creation through the development of wildlife resources.
All these actions reflect the Québec Government’s international commitments that stem from the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro. The Convention on Biological Diversity recognizes that conservation of biological diversity is a common concern of humankind and essential for development.
Wildlife in Québec is composed of around 648 species of vertebrates in all the major animal groups, including mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, snakes and turtles. In addition, there are several thousand species of invertebrates found here, with the largest group made up of around 30,000 species of insects.
The wildlife sector makes an important contribution to Québec’s economy, especially in outlying regions. Almost half the population, or over three million people, pursue some kind of outdoor activity. With respect to hunting, fishing and trapping, the following figures are noteworthy:
- 308,000 hunters
- 711,600 fishermen
- 7,270 trappers
- 15.3 million days of activity in 2012
- $1.6 B in money directly spent by enthusiasts
- Nearly 14,000 jobs
- $1.8 B in spinoffs within and outside of Québec
Wildlife development makes a significant contribution to Québec’s economy, and is the economic foundation of several regions.
In 1867, the year of Canadian confederation, Québec became the first province with wildlife protection officers, hiring two gamekeepers. They were the precursors of a group that currently counts some 500 members. Wildlife protection officers are tasked with maintaining the delicate balance between humans, animals and habitats. They are responsible for enforcing the Acts and Regulations that govern wildlife and wildlife habitats in Québec, providing protection and raising public awareness about wildlife issues. Their motto provides a concise summary of their mission: protection, education and prevention.