In British Columbia, approximately 14.2 million hectares (14.4% of the province as of 2010) are designated as protected. Environment and Climate Change Canada maintains 12 protected areas in British Columbia, including 5 National Wildlife Areas (NWAs) and 7 Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs), comprising over 5 thousand hectares of the province's protected lands and waters.
Scott Islands: First candidate marine National Wildlife Area
Map of Environment and Climate Change Canada's Protected Areas in British Columbia
Long description for the Map
Map showing the Environment and Climate Change Canada's Protected Areas in British Columbia boundaries. Including 5 NWAs and 7 MBSs.
Learn more about British Columbia...
List of Protected Areas in British Columbia
The tables below contain information about the NWAs and MBSs shown on the map above. In addition to the name, year of establishment, and size of each protected area, the tables indicate how these sites fit into national and international networks of conservation areas. The following entities may be noted:
National Wildlife Areas
|NWA Name||Year established||Size in hectares|
|Widgeon Valley NWA||1978||125|
Migratory Bird Sanctuaries
|MBS Name||Year established||Size in hectares|
|Christie Islet MBS||1962||1|
|Victoria Harbour MBS||1931||1,841|
|George C. Reifel MBS||1967||376|
|Nechako River MBS||1944||183|
|Shoal Harbour MBS||1931||143|
|Vaseux Lake MBS||1923||370|
|Esquimalt Lagoon MBS||1923||134|
Access and Permitting
Although access to NWAs is not restricted, the primary purpose of these areas is to protect and conserve wildlife and their habitats, and therefore most NWAs are not equipped with facilities to accommodate public visitation. Unless otherwise posted, all recreational activities are prohibited within NWAs.
Although access to most MBSs is not restricted either, the primary intent of these sanctuaries is to protect migratory birds, and therefore hunting, as well as disturbing or molesting migratory birds, their eggs, nests or habitat, is prohibited.
A permit may be obtained from the Minister of the Environment authorizing the conduct of certain activities in an NWA or MBS, if the Minister or delegate is of the opinion that the proposed activity:
- will not interfere with the conservation of wildlife; or
- is consistent with the purpose for which the protected area was established; and
- is consistent with the management plan for the protected area.
Additional information on entry, prohibited activities and permits in Environment and Climate Change Canada's protected areas is provided on the Management and Activities web pages of the NWAs and MBSs. For more information on Environment and Climate Change Canada's protected areas in British Columbia, please contact the regional Environment and Climate Change Canada office:Environment and Climate Change Canada - Pacific and Yukon Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
5421 Robertson Road
Delta, British Columbia
Toll Free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
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