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Checklist of the Mammals of the Torngat National Park ReserveChecklist of the Mammals of the Torngat National Park Reserve

by Dave Snowby Dave Snow
Red Fox on the Viking Trail

Banfield’s The Mammals of Canada (1977) and Snow’s Land Mammals of Newfoundland and Labrador (1996) provide lists of mammals found in northern Labrador but these lists were supported by a very limited amount of field observation. Harrington (1994) provided a comprehensive synopsis of the available literature combined with interviews to summarize the fauna and biophysical characteristics of the region.

The following checklist of mammals is based upon these documents together with additional observations and interviews with knowledgeable individuals who have spent considerable time on the land and along the coast of what is now the Torngat National Park Reserve. There is a limited amount of published data available about mammals in the Park Reserve region and this list should be considered preliminary and subject to change as more observers contribute their sightings.

The red squirrel and the porcupine have been included in this list due to sightings in Quebec in Nachvac Valley very close to the Labrador/Quebec border. The Northern bog lemming has not been recorded in the park but it has been found in similar eco-regions in Quebec and elsewhere. It is not well studied but is likely to occur in the Park Reserve.

The coast of Labrador should be considered an area of special concern and observation as humans look to study the effects of global warming on the populations and ranges of northern and temperate animal species. Changes to this list are inevitable over time.

Land Mammals

* Masked shrew
* Pygmy shrew
* Meadow vole
* Rock vole
* Deer mouse
* Northern bog lemming (probable)
* Ungava lemming
* Red squirrel
* Arctic hare
* Porcupine
* Ermine
* Least weasel
* River otter
* Wolverine (endangered/status uncertain)
* Red fox
* Arctic fox
* Wolf
* Black bear
* Polar bear
* Grizzly bear (extirpated)
* Caribou
* Musk ox (introduced/status uncertain)
* Man

Marine Mammals

(frequent sightings, not meant to suggest breeding status)


* Harbour porpoise
* White sided dolphin
* White beaked dolphin
* Beluga
* Narwhal
* Pilot whales
* Northern bottlenose whale (likely well offshore)
* Orca (have been observed in fjords and near the coast)
* Sperm whale
* Minke
* Humpback
* Bowhead (may be extirpated)
* Sei (usually well offshore but occasionally near coast)


* Walrus (may be breeding on the Button Islands)
* Bearded seal
* Grey seal
* Harbour seal
* Ringed seal
* Harp seal
* Hooded seal

Acknowledgements Alasdair Veitch (Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Government of Northwest Territories), Pierre Ryan (Canadian Wildlife Service), Lo Camps (Nature Trek, Canada), Frank Phillips, Angus Simpson (Parks Canada), Wayne Ledwell, Gary Baikie (Parks Canada), John Maunder, Paul Linegar, Judy Rowell (Parks Canada) and Ann Simmons (Wildland Tours) all contributed useful observations or suggestions for this list.


* Banfield, A.W.F. 1974. The Land Mammals of Canada. University of Toronto Press
* Harrington, F.H. 1994. Fauna of the Torngat Mountains Area. Parks Canada Report
* Ledwell, Wayne. 2005. Whales and Dolphins of Newfoundland and Labrador. Boulder Publications, Ltd.
* Snow, D.A. 1996. Land Mammals of Newfoundland and Labrador. Government of Newfoundland and Labrador