Download the Northern Appalachian/Acadian Ecoregion: Conservation Assessment, Status and Trends: 2006
This ecoregion stretches from the Gaspé Peninsula at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River southwesterly through the Appalachian complex of eastern Quebec to the United States border, south of Sherbrooke. The region's major land uses are agriculture, forestry, recreation, and tourism. Farmland occupies approximately 15 per cent of the ecoregion, primarily along the St. Lawrence River plain and the valleys and lowlands.
The ecoregion includes the largest expanse of forest remaining in eastern America south of the Boreal zone. The Acadian Forest is a heterogeneous or patchy landscape composed of pure and mixed stands containing varying proportions of upland hardwood and spruce-fir types. It is characterized by long-lived, shade-tolerant conifer and deciduous species, such as red spruce, balsam fir, yellow birch, sugar maple, red oak and red maple, while red and eastern white pine and eastern hemlock occur to a lesser but significant degree.
Characteristic wildlife includes Moose, Black Bear, White-tailed Deer, Beaver, Porcupine, Bobcat, Red Fox, Lynx, Marten and rabbit. Seabirds and shorebirds are common on the Gulf of St. Lawrence coast, the Bay of Fundy and along the southern shore of Nova Scotia.
Little intact habitat remains in this ecoregion, and nearly all of the area shows some signs of human activity. In Canada it is estimated that less than 5 per cent remains intact, with at least 50 per cent of the ecoregion classed as heavily altered due to logging, agriculture and recreational development. This ecoregion contains several rare ecological or evolutionary phenomena including major areas of serpentine rocks and associated rare vegetation, raised peat bogs, ribbed fens, and coastal raised peatlands. The ecoregion is home to a major breeding population of Piping Plover and includes an important migratory staging area for over 75% of the world population of semi-palmated sandpipers.
Nature Conservancy of Canada is working with The Nature Conservancy and other partners to complete an ecoregional assessment in 2007.