A vertebrate is an animal characterized by having a backbone, as well as an internal skeleton and well-developed brain. Vertebrates include fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
Newfoundland and Labrador has representation from all groups of vertebrate, except reptiles. Interrelations between people and vertebrates make them a favorite group for many factions of society, such as hunters, trappers, fishers, nature watchers and researchers.
More than 460 species of vertebrate have been documented in Newfoundland and Labrador. Insular Newfoundland can present some unique challenges to the establishment of species. Unless an animal can fly, piggyback, or swim, naturally establishing on an island may not be easy. Island populations also tend to be more susceptible to disturbance.
Subsequently, the native vertebrate fauna of the island is greatly reduced compared to Labrador. Geographic isolation, though, can lead to unique native populations, and Newfoundland is no exception.