I very much enjoy watching nature documentaries. I love seeing glimpses of rare animals, learning about their quirks, and meeting people who have dedicated their lives to preservation of these precious creatures. After I’ve watched such a thing, I always feel inspired to do something more to aid in the conservation effort of these rare and beautiful animals, to stop the destruction of their habitats, to halt deforestation perpetrated in the spirit of greed.

But as I watch more of these programs, I’ve come to realize that conservation starts with appreciation, and appreciation begins with an attitude change. And yes, of course, in order to save an animal that lives in the Amazon River, for example, it helps to begin at home, with the people who live in the area, because their behaviour will have one of the greatest effects on the species. So, that said, should not our appreciation of wildlife begin at home?

Should not we start by concerning ourselves with species over whose habitats we have the most direct influence? That’s not to say that those of us who can choose and can afford to dedicate ourselves to the preservation of a rare rhino in Africa shouldn’t do just that, but for those of us whose lives are dedicated to other things, surely there are things that we can be doing in our own back yard and in our own communities to change attitudes towards the nature that surrounds us, and the animals that call it home.

The region I’ve chosen to focus on for this blog is the beautiful Canadian province of Québec. With more than 95% of the province part of the Canadian Shield, the province abounds with wildlife of all sorts that enjoys the majestic forested and mountainous regions of the province, and many species’ habitats enjoy the protection of national and provincial parks.  And it’s not only land animals that the province boasts, but a plethora of creatures who live in the ponds, lakes, rivers, and ocean that run through and surround parts of it.

Being sparsely populated by humans, Québec is an ideal spot for wildlife to flourish, and flourish it does. Happily, many of Québec’s national parks are very well-used, and Canadians, being a wonderfully hearty people, find ways to enjoy the nature that surrounds them in all four seasons, hiking and canoeing in the summertime, and snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter months. It is the attitude of many of these people that must be preserved, that is, an appreciation and respect for nature and the animals that call it home.

I of course won’t have time or space to touch on all the incredible creatures who live in this province, but I’ll choose those that I hope will best inspire you and whomever else decides to read this blog to learn more about other magnificent creatures that live not only in Québec, but in forests and fields and streams around you. I find that the more a person learns about an animal and all its quirks and intricacies, the more inclined one will be to find out what they can do to ensure its continued existence.