Leave the caribou alone! That's the message from the Government of Quebec in a December 15 news release warning the public of the adverse health effects human activity could have on the animals, especially a population of what are called mountain caribou, an ecotype of the woodland caribou that can be found in the highlands of the Gaspé Peninsula.
The Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks (MFFP) says the Gaspé mountain caribou have been considered threatened in the province since 2009 and represent the "last vestige" of a population that used to span eastern Canada and the northeastern United States.
Officials estimate that just 32 to 36 of the animals remain in Gaspé.
The MFFP is asking Quebecers to avoid parts of the Réserve faunique des Chic-Chocs and to consider visiting other parks following recent caribou sightings.
"Disturbance of caribou in a ravine (winter habitat) can lead to increased energy expenditure, particularly in calves, thus altering their physical condition," the ministry said in the release.
"This can even be detrimental to their survival by forcing them to move to areas that are less favourable for them."
Voluntarily approaching the caribou or allowing pets to do so is enough to disturb them, according to the ministry. And there could be consequences for anyone who does.
The MFFP states that disrupting caribou or other big game activity in their natural habitat could land you a minimum fine of $1,825 and a two-year hunting license suspension.
The National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease (CFIA) found SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in three white-tailed deer in Quebec's Estrie region. The CFIA took samples from the deer between November 6 and 8.
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) reported "the deer showed no evidence of clinical signs of disease and were all apparently healthy."
Though this was a Canadian first, ECCC explained that there has been "evidence of spillover" of the COVID-19 virus from humans to deer in the United States, though "there has been no known transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from deer to humans at this time."
Around the world, SARS-CoV-2 has been found in dogs, mink, domestic cats, big cats and primates, among other animals.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the risk of an animal infecting a human with the COVID-19 virus is low.
ECCC said the discovery of the virus in Canadian deer "emphasizes the importance of ongoing surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 in wildlife to increase our understanding about SARS-CoV-2 on the human-animal interface."
The department promises federal and provincial authorities will continue to "monitor and assess the potential implications of the virus on Canadian wildlife."
Quebec deer can't seem to catch a break. The animals made headlines earlier in the week following a controversial announcement from the City of Longueuil that it plans to cull part of a population that's devastating a city park. Longueuil says the deer are also malnurished as a result of their overpopulation.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
If you love the Gaspé Peninsula, you'll probably fall in love with this house for sale in the Quebec region, too. With the Gulf of the Saint Lawrence River passing directly through its backyard, this property makes you feel like you're on vacation all year round — and, at an asking price of $349,000, it's actually less expensive than a Montreal condo.
The charming one-and-a-half-storey home is located in the town of Cap d'Espoir on a lot of over 43,000 square feet.
On the main floor, there are two large living rooms as well as a kitchen and dining room that overlook the waterfront with their large windows. Upstairs, you'll find three bedrooms and a full bathroom. The house also has a powder room and wood stove.
A viral Facebook post is calling out reckless tourist behaviour in the waters of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence off the coast of Quebec's Gaspésie region.
The post by Camp de base Gaspésie resort owner Jean-François Tapp has amassed over 2,000 reactions and 6,000 shares since its publication on July 13.
"OK...WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT WATER SAFETY..." Tapp wrote at the beginning of the post.
He said an incident involving an intervention by emergency services after "two girls and an adult [...] ventured out on the sea in a boat that was totally inappropriate to navigate on the Gulf of Saint Lawrence" spurred his appeal to Quebecers on Facebook.
"We need to talk because we see this every day in the Gaspé, despite the Lifesaving Society's promotional campaigns and the number of people who die on (or under) the water every summer reported by the media."
"We need to talk about it because we'll see you putting your stuff in the water when we, the pros, cancel our guided trips because of winds, currents or changing weather that we've assessed from top to bottom," he continued, noting tourists' use of flimsy recreational flotation devices like stand-up paddleboards, "magic pool mats" and animal-shaped inflatable tubes.
Tapp suggested the call for vigilance was especially urgent given the arrival of the two-week construction holiday, the province's busiest period of the summer, when Gaspésie will likely see an influx of unprepared travellers.
"The Gulf of Saint Lawrence is not Lake Massawippi," he wrote. "In Gaspésie, the sea always wins."
"We need to talk because playing at sea without planning and without equipment is not a game."
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
A hotel group based in Matane, Bonaventure and Percé — all seaside cities with beaches in Quebec's Gaspésie region — is hiring 30 hospitality workers for the summer season. Bonus: applicants don't need to speak French for certain positions.
Groupe Riôtel also provides accommodations near the hotel where you work so you won't have to worry about finding somewhere to stay. You'll essentially be paid to live and work in a gorgeous paradise!
Currently, the hotel group is hiring chefs, sous-chefs, hotel hosts, receptionists, maintenance workers, estheticians, pool technicians, bussers, banquet hall workers, call centre agents and more.
Nathalie Blouin, Riôtel's vice-president of sales and marketing, told MTL Blog that while bilingualism is an asset, applicants don't have to speak any French to work in the region due to subsections of Anglophone populations in the Gaspé peninsula.
Each posting is different and requires different education, skills and experience — but suffice to say, we would make the move to work in a small seaside city in Quebec for the summer.
Groupe Riôtel in Gaspésie
Salary: Varies by role
Location: Matane, Bonaventure & Percé, Quebec
Company: Groupe Riôtel
Who Should Apply: Any hospitality worker — French isn't needed.