The Wildlife Protection Service safeguards wildlife species and biodiversity. It also promotes awareness of best wildlife practices, particularly fir hunting, fishing, and trapping, for the benefit of the community. Its motto is “protect, educate, and prevent.”
Protecting wildlife species and their habitats
Wildlife protection officers are responsible for enforcing the laws and regulations governing wildlife in Québec. The legislation covers the conservation and development of wildlife species and the protection of habitats.
Wildlife officers have the status of peace officers and the power to:
In the course of their work, wildlife protection officers engage in a constant battle against poaching. Here are some examples of what they do:
- They conduct investigations to track down poachers.
- They inspect work sites in fish habitat (in French) to ensure that the habitat is not disturbed or destroyed.
- They conduct searches and seizures during operations to dismantle poaching activities.
- They conduct audits related to conditions under which animals are kept in captivity .
- They monitor the illegal hunting of migratory birds.
- They carry out prevention and protection measures for threatened and vulnerable wildlife species (in French) across Québec.
- They help track diseases such as chronic wasting disease in cervids.
- They provide support when wildlife roam outside their natural environment.
- They help control invasive alien animal species (in French).
- They ensure compliance with the hunting, fishing, and trapping agreements signed by the Government of Québec with Indigenous communities.
- They supervise wildlife protection assistants who work in wildlife reserves, national parks, communal wildlife areas, outfitters operations, and controlled harvesting areas.
Are you responsible, resourceful, conscientious, and physically fit? Do you enjoy enforcing laws and regulations, conducting investigations, being part of a team, working outdoors, and interacting with the public? Become a wildlife protection officer (in French).
Wildlife protection officers use a variety of techniques to conduct their investigations.
The Wildlife Protection Service has had a canine squad since 1995. The canine squad helps:
- Dismantle poaching networks
- Search forests or suspect locations
- Conduct outdoor searches and searches of buildings, vehicles, and boats
The dog handler’s job includes chasing down hidden or fleeing suspects; locating animals, carcasses, and fish; and finding equipment used in poaching.
Dog handlers help save time during search operations. They can also uncover additional clues and gather evidence during an investigation.
Learn about what a dog handler does (in French) at the Wildlife Protection Service.
The Biolegal Laboratory provides scientific support for wildlife protection operations. It plays an important and complementary role in the work of wildlife protection officers. It helps:
- Clarify the circumstances surrounding illegal acts
- Find the people responsible
- Provide scientific evidence to support investigations
It conducts a wide variety of lab analyses to help:
- Identify animals from their anatomical parts
- Assess how the parts are connected
- Count specimens
- Determine age
- Discriminate between wild and farmed fish
- Determine how they were captured
- Assess the cause of death
For physical assessments, including ballistics, officers can use the services of Québec’s forensic laboratory, Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de médecine légale (in French).
Have you received a 7- or 14-day notice?
Has a wildlife protection officer or assistant wildlife protection officer given you a 7- or 14-day notice?
Comply promptly by completing the form that applies to your situation:
Educating the public about wildlife protection
Wildlife protection officers carry out prevention and awareness activities all year long. They help train new hunters and anglers and interact with young people, especially at the Québec-wide fishing festival, Fête de la pêche (in French).
Many of them are involved in their communities. They volunteer their time at fundraising events and may also organize charities to help those in need in their respective regions.
Every year, officers turn over hundreds of kilograms of seized game meat to charities that in turn distribute them to the less fortunate in our communities.
Preventing and raising public awareness
Wildlife officers visit schools to educate youth about the importance of preserving and protecting wildlife. They meet with students through the La faune et vous (Wildlife and You) program (in French).
Members of the Wildlife Protection Service also participate in activities for the general public. They attend exhibitions and thematic fairs, where they inform the public about new regulations and raise awareness about protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat.
Dissatisfied with a behaviour?
If you are dissatisfied with the behaviour of a wildlife protection officer, you can file an ethics complaint . Wildlife protection officers are subject to the Code of ethics of Québec police officers. Please note that the facts complained of must have occurred in the performance of the duties of the wildlife protection officer concerned. You have one year from the date of the event to file a complaint.
Last update: January 8, 2024