Herons in a nest


Common Vancouver wildlife


Wildlife is ...  

In BC, "wildlife" is defined as all amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals that are native to the province. That includes a huge range of species, including:

  • almost 500 species of birds
  • more than 140 species of mammals
  • dozens of species of reptiles and amphibians
  • more than 400 species of fish (including both freshwater and saltwater)

Wildlife is not ... 

Animal species that are found in BC but are not native to the province are not considered wildlife. This includes:

  • Common rock doves (pigeons), European starlings, mute swans, and  peacocks
  • Rabbits, rats, and Eastern grey squirrels

These species are not protected by legislation. If they are a nuisance, they may be dealt with by private pest control companies in a humane manner.

Who looks after wildlife? 

BC wildlife is protected under the BC Wildlife Act, which is administered by the provincial Ministry of the Environment.

Who looks after fish and marine mammals? 

Fish and marine mammals are protected under the Fisheries Act, which is administered by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Who looks after migratory birds?

Migratory birds are protected under the Species at Risk Act and the International Migratory Bird Treaty. These are administered by the Canadian Wildlife Service of Environment Canada.

Who provides wildlife information? 

You can learn more about wildlife from:

Heron camera

The Pacific Great Blue Herons have returned to the colony at the Park Board office at 2099 Beach Avenue.

Birds in our city

Birds are an excellent indicator of a healthy ecosystem—a link between people and local biodiversity.