British Columbia's abundant wildlife is as diverse as its habitats. This is a province with many distinct terrains, each which enjoys its own climate and ecosystem. From oceanic to mountainous, high country tundra to arid desert, BC has environments suited to thousands of species of fish, birds and animals. And while viewing these creatures in their native habitats can be an unforgettable experience, it's important to respect the local regulations by remaining on designated routes and never feeding or touching the wild animals. Remember, you're in their house. Be a good guest!
Vancouver Island enjoys numerous nature sanctuaries. Just off the coast of Sidney, the Sidney Spit Provincial Marine Park is home to herons, eagles, seabirds and fallow deer while Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary in Victoria has diverse population of waterfowl and shorebirds. During October and November nowhere is there a more awesome display of spawning salmon fighting their way upstream than Goldstream Provincial Park. And venturing into the Gulf Islands, the small and scenic Bellhouse Provincial Park on Galiano Island's Burrill Point is a favourite viewing spot for sea lions, killer whales, seabirds and eagles… not to mention passing BC Ferries! On the West Coast? Strathcona Provincial Park will not disappoint with a visible population of trumpeter swans, elk, deer, beavers and black bears.
The Vancouver area is no less impressive. June and July on the Coquihalla River sees thousands of spawning steelhead trout and the Harrison River and Kilby Provincial Park are ideal places for viewing swans, heron, eagles, waterfowl and spawning salmon.
Head inland to the Okanagan and you'll discover that the interior desert provides a completely different picture. The Keremeos Cliffs in Hedley are home to quail, partridges, golden eagles and even mountain goats. Ospreys, turtles, boblinks heron and mule deer are in abundance in Osoyoos while the Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park in Vernon has everything from songbirds and marmots to ground squirrels and rattlesnakes!
The Kootenays enjoy over 240 species of bird, many who make their home at the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area while places like Kokanee Creek Provincial Park host hundreds of white-tailed and mule deer as well as raptors, waterfowl and songbirds.
Even the high country of the Cariboo Chilcotin and the great expanses of Northern BC have everything from caribou, moose and muskrats to grizzlies, black bears and beavers.
Bring your binoculars. British Columbia is wild!