British Columbia Wildlife Watch - Viewing Opportunities by Region
copyright © A.L. Mol  2003
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Wildlife viewing opportunities have been identified at 557 viewing sites throughout British Columbia. However, wildlife can be viewed anywhere in the province, including in the most developed urban areas.

The viewing sites are organized using the management regions of the Wildlife Branch of the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection (formerly the Ministry of Enviroinment, Lands and Parks).

New  Okanagan Region viewing site details added.  New

New  Cariboo Region viewing site details added.  New

Vancouver Island (Region 1) 95 sites
Lower Mainland (Region 2) 105 sites
Thompson-Nicola (Region 3) 18 sites
Kootenay (Region 4) 88 sites
Cariboo (Region 5) 51 sites
Skeena (Region 6) 95 sites
Omineca-Peace (Region 7) 60 sites
Okanagan (Region 8) 49 sites

Searching for a specific site?

The basic framework for wildlife viewing sites in all regions of British Columbia has been completed. There is still lots of work required to provide specific viewing information for sites outside the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Okanagan and Cariboo regions.

If the information you need is not yet available on-line, please e-mail a specific request.

   Vancouver Island (Region 1)

The Vancouver Island Region offers a wide range of viewing opportunities for both wildlife and fish. From marine waters to mountain peaks, there is something to experience in every season.

The Vancouver Island Region includes all of Vancouver Island from Victoria to Cape Scott, and all of the Gulf Islands.

Viewing highlights include whale watching, a large spring migration of Brant and wintering Trumpeter Swan. Vancouver Island is also home to the endangered Vancouver Island Marmot, with a population of less than 200. The marine waters offer excellent marine mammal viewing, especially for orcas.

Within the Vancouver Island Region, 91 viewing sites are identified. They are divided into 6 sub-regional groupings:

Additional information:

Access between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland is available via three BC Ferries routes.

   Lower Mainland (Region 2)

Despite being the most populated portion of British Columbia, the Lower Mainland Region has hundreds of terrific sites to observe wildlife and fish. From tide water to alpine meadow, there is something to see in every season.

The Lower Mainland stretches from Vancouver eastward through the Fraser Valley to E.C. Manning Provincial Park, and includes the Sunshine Coast from Gibsons to Powell River, and the corridor from Squamish to Pemberton.

Viewing highlights include large wintering populations of Bald Eagles, Trumpeter Swans and Snow Geese. This region boasts nationally and internationally important migration habitats for waterfowl, shorebirds and hawks. The marine waters are visited by whales, sea lions and seals.

Within the Lower Mainland Region, 105 viewing sites are identified. They are divided into 4 sub-regional groupings:

Additional information:

Access between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland is available via three BC Ferries routes.

   Thompson-Nicola (Region 3)

Within the Thompson-Nicola Region, 18 viewing sites are identified. They are divided into 4 sub-regional groupings:

Additional information:

   Kootenay (Region 4)

The Kootenay Region occupies approximately 75,000 square kilometres in the southeast corner of British Columbia. The region is comprised of numerous mountain chains and linear valleys. The interaction of these topographic features with the major weather systems produces much of the climatic diversity of the Region, which in turn influences the distribution of plant communities, and the distribution and abundance of wildlife and fish populations.

Within the Kootenay Region, 88 viewing sites are identified. They are divided into 7 sub-regional groupings:

Additional information:

Access across Kootenay Lake between Balfour and Kootenay Bay is available via inland ferry.

   Cariboo (Region 5)

The Cariboo Region is laocated in the south central portion of British Columbia, extending from the Pacific Ocean to within 70 km of the Alberta border. It occupies approximately 113,000 square kilometres in four major biophysical area. Mountain summits in the Chilcotin Ranges are from 2800 to 3600 m high, with the highest peak being Mount Washington (4016 m). The Fraser Plateau consists of large expanses of level or gently rolling plateau with some uplands of low relief.

Within the Cariboo Region, 51 viewing sites are identified. They are divided into 4 sub-regional groupings:

Additional information:

   Skeena (Region 6)

The Skeena Region occupies approximately 316,870 square kilometres in the northwestern corner of British Columbia. The region contains major populations of large mammals, many significant fish river and streams and many wetlands and coastal estuaries that are important for nesting, migrating and wintering waterfowl and other water birds. This region also contains the biologically unqiue Queen Charlotte Islands.

Within the Skeena Region, 95 viewing sites are identified. They are divided into 7 sub-regional groupings:

Additional information:

   Omenica-Peace (Region 7)

The Omineca-Peace Region consists of two distictly different sections. The Omineca portion is more mountainous and the Peace Region is more open, rolling rangeland.

Within the Omenica-Peace Region, 60 viewing sites are identified. They are divided into 4 sub-regional groupings:

Additional information:

   Okanagan (Region 8)

The Okanagan Region occupies approximately 29,200 square kilometres, and consists of two physiographic systems, the Cascade Mountains and the Interior Plateaus and Mountains.

The Okanagan Region, especially the South Okanagan area, contains a variety of unique habitats, many of them threatened on a Canada-wide scale. These habitats are critical to a variety of wildlife and fish species, often limitied to this Region. The South Okanagan is home to a long list of species officially listed as threatened and endangered, many of whom may be observed at specific sites.

Within the Okanagan Region, 49 viewing sites are identified. They are divided into 4 sub-regional groupings:

Additional information: