Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve

The Mingan Archipelago National Park (French Réserve de parc national de l'Archipel -de- Mingan, English Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve ) is a marine Canadian National Park in the east of the province of Quebec to the location of Havre -Saint- Pierre, the east of Sept- Îles and north of the island of Anticosti lies. To reserve include not only the islands but also a narrow strip of mainland. So also the Lac Patterson heard in the west, in the middle of Lac de la Grande Rivière, or Lac des Plaines to where there are numerous other lakes.

It was founded in 1984 and has an area of 151 km ², while it extends over a distance of 150 km along the north shore of the St. Lawrence River. The park includes, among other things Mingan Archipelago, which consists of 40 islands. Since 1979, the research organization Mingan Iceland Cetacean Study busy with the whales and dolphins of the region.

There are two communities of the Innu, namely Mingan Ekuanitshit and Natashquan - Nutashkan, which together have around 1100 inhabitants in the region.

The Islands

The largest of about 40 islands: the Ile aux Perroquets, Île Nue de Mingan, Grande Île, Île Quarry, Ile Niapiskau, Île du Fantôme, Ile du Havre, the Petite île au Marteau and the Big and the Ile a la Chasse. In the west of the archipelago is the Île Nue de Mingan, which has a tundrenartige Landscape ( barrens ); also left Basque whalers there numerous furnaces. Since the fragile ecosystem would be jeopardized by hikers, the access to them is prohibited. Much like on this island, can be found on the Grande Île monolith monoliths and groups such as the Zoo in the northwest or the Château in the Northeast, but here are hikers on the trail around the island (about 22 miles) allowed. Also on the Île Quarry can be hiked monoliths, such as in Anse des erosion in the southwest of the island. So-called boardwalks allow to reach wetlands dry feet. Located on the Ile Niapiskau is the monolith Bonne Femme ( Good woman in the northwest). Parks Canada offers there guides with explanations of the geology of the islands.

The Île du Fantôme received its name from a schooner of this name, which wrecked in 1862 off the north west coast. There has parks in Canada guides for animal and plant life on the island. Directly across from Havre -Saint -Pierre is the island of Île du Havre. There, a fox farm of the Hudson's Bay Company was in the 1930s. 15.3 km of hiking trails of the island.

Both on the Île aux Perroquets, where in 1888 a lighthouse was established, as well as Petite Ile au Marteau 1915 originated beacon, which served to protect the shipping industry. The latter is located southeast of Grosse Île au Marteau, which is considered one of the most beautiful islands in the region. The easternmost island, still behind the Île Innu, the Île à la Chasse, where Count Henry de Puyjalon lived. It offers numerous wetlands and relics of the last ice age.

Flora and Fauna

The park harbors more than 450 species of plants, 100 of them as either rare or very rare apply, or usually live in remote areas. Thus, the Mingan Thistle ( Mingan Thistle) exist otherwise only in Arctic regions, the saxifrage is widely used.

More than 200 bird species are known in the park area. Terns, gulls and kittiwakes ( kittywake ) occur here as well as the double-crested cormorant, which is among the cormorants, razorbills ( razorbill ) and black guillemot, which also is one of the alkene. Particularly striking is the puffins. The islands are an important wintering area for ducks about, in which case the eider duck is most prevalent. One also meets at warblers, sparrows, Waders and the Great Yellowlegs.

In mammals, the gray seal, the harbor seal and the harp seal is found, regular members are viewed by nine species of whales. Among them are Mink or minke whales, which are often close to the coast to see further out to see blue whales, porpoises, humpback and fin whales as well. On land, there are beavers, lontra, muskrat, red squirrel, snowshoe hare, red fox, weasels, and various species.


In contrast to the north adjoining the limestone landscape of the Canadian Shield Mingan Archipelago strong lifting and lowering movements was exposed. 20,000 years ago weighed a 2.5 km thick ice sheet in the area. After the end of the last ice age, the ice were melted, the area around 85 m below the sea level, which in turn was higher than 100 m. By 5000 BC appeared the islands out of the sea and raised further. Now the Kalklagen severe erosion were exposed. In the numerous caves and caverns that arose to found fossils of more than 200 marine animals. The north side of the island is marked on a length of 45 km from steep cliffs that rise from the sea to over 15 m.

The oldest traces of human life ranging around 2000 years back. It was the Innu, who first lived in the region. They fished, hunted seals and collected mollusks. In the 16th century, especially Basques went from the Ile Nue de Mingan on whaling. They have left behind their ovens for processing and preservation on the island. They were followed by the Acadians, French-speaking Canadians, who began to seal in the 1880s. Their descendants today live in Havre Ste. -Pierre. Culturally different from them also encountered Gaspé fishermen who also speak French.

At this time the British Hudson 's Bay Company controlled the islands. They forbade settlements on the north coast and led one of the biggest fox farms in the country.

After two shipwrecks, the government in 1888 to build a lighthouse on Île aux Perroquets. The first lighthouse keeper, Count Henry de Puyjalon and Placide Vigneau, were very well known in the region.

In 1979, Richard Sears, the Mingan Walforschungsorganisation Iceland Cetacean Study, which was first performed long-term studies.