Flora and Fauna
Generally the park’s forest is a mix of red spruce, balsam fir, yellow birch, white birch and maples. It is known as the Acadian Forest. While maples contribute the most brilliant autumn colours from mid-September to mid-October, balsam fir gives a wonderful fragrance to the forests of Fundy. The forest floor is covered with carpets of moss, woodfern and bunchberry. By mid-late summer, the bright red clumps of the bunchberry fruit are very common.
Representing the southern element of the Acadian Forest and covering only 5.4% of the park are pure hardwood stands. The coniferous forest represents the boreal element of the Acadian Forest. With the rarity of fire along the Bay of Fundy coast, spruce budworm has been the most important agent of change in the spruce-fir forest and is responsible for maintaining the forest in a state of dynamic equilibrium. Pure stands of conifer are rare in Fundy National Park, but it is there that one can appreciate the majesty of the tall red spruce, which can live 200 years or more. The park harbours some of the last pure stands of red spruce in eastern North America.
Fundy National Park protects a wide variety of plants. There are 658 species of vascular plants here. Less known are the bryophytes represented by mosses and liverworts. These small plants are often found growing on rocks and tree trunks. Many also grow on the forest floor. There are 276 species of bryophytes in Fundy National Park.
More than 400 species of lichens have been found in Fundy National Park. These small plants, that few people know by name, cover the forest floor, rocks and tree trunks. One may find as many as 30 species on a single tree.
In wet, poorly drained areas such as along the Caribou Plain trail, black spruce and larch live in a thick sphagnum moss carpet. Some of these stunted trees have lived here for more than a century, yet are no taller than a person.
The shallow waters of ponds and streams surrounding the bog support much animal life. At dusk or dawn, moose and beaver become active, feeding on succulent yellow pond lilies.
Fundy is well positioned on the Atlantic migration route, and over 260 bird species have been identified in the park or on the adjacent bay. Of those, approximately 95 species have nested in the park. Common species in the park include many types of warblers, pileated wood-peckers, juncos, white-winged crossbills, great blue herons, cormorants, semi-palmated sandpipers and semi-palmated plovers. The Peregrine falcon, which was extirpated by the time the park was established in 1948, has been successfully reintroduced.
Spring and early summer nights vibrate with the mating calls of frogs and toads. The earliest performers are the wood frogs and the tiny spring peepers whose forceful whistles echo in shrill massed chorus across the dark ponds. These sounds are soon augmented by the long trills of American toads. Marshy ponds and lakes are the home of leopard and pickerel frogs whose roars and growls mix with the “plunks” of green frogs, and -later in the summer-the bass droning roar of bullfrogs.
Salamanders, the other amphibians in the park are mute. Seven species live in moist places: the yellow-spotted, red-backed and four-toed in mossy glades and inside rotten logs; the dusky, blue-spotted and two-lined under rocks near springs and brooks, and adult newts in ponds and lakes.
There are no turtles in Fundy. The rugged terrain, and the rocky and boggy characteristics of its lakes have prevented their establishment.
Four species of snakes have been found in Fundy National Park. The largest and most common is the eastern garter snake. Up to a metre long, garter snakes feed on small mammals, frogs, young birds and insects.
There are no poisonous snakes in Fundy National Park.
Opportunities exist in Fundy National Park to observe mammals in their natural habitat, especially along trails and streams where openings are common. Of the 38 species in the park, those most commonly seen include snowshoe hare, chipmunk, red squirrel, little brown bat, eastern coyote, white-tailed deer and moose. Moose are the largest animals in the park and may weigh 1000 kilograms. They feed primarily in lakes and wetlands, but may browse along roadsides at dusk. Caution signs along the highway are meant to be heeded!
Evening guided walks are offered in Fundy to help you explore and appreciate mysteries of the night.
All information is courtesy of and can be found at Fundy National Park’s website on Natural Wonders and Cultural Treasures.