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Travel Tips: Watch for Wildlife

Did you know British Columbia is the most biologically diverse province in Canada? According to the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations, 75% of Canada's mammal species are found in BC, and 24 of those are exclusive to our province.

Wildlife Spirit Bear

With an abundance of wildlife from stream to field, and from ocean to mountain peak, it’s important we look out for our furry and finned friends while travelling – both for their safety, and our enjoyment.

The ministry has the following tips for optimum wildlife viewing:

  1.  Check the season - most sites have a time of year when more birds or animals may be seen.
  2.   Time of day is important - early morning and evening are often good times.
  3.   Use cover, move slowly, and be quiet to avoid startling wildlife and improve viewing success.
  4.  Be patient: many animals leave tracks, droppings, nests, sleeping beds, and dens if you   look carefully.
  5.  Field Guides provide clues to help you find and identify wildlife.
  6.  Binoculars and spotting scopes allow you to effectively search larger areas and keep a safe distance.
  7. Try different viewing strategies. Scan peaks with binoculars. Look for moose and bears in old burned or cleared areas where there is abundant shrub growth. Check for wildlife near lakes and wet areas, their sources of food and cover.

They also advise the following etiquette to keep you and wildlife safe:

  • Keep vehicles on roads
  • Stay on trails
  • Don’t approach or chase animals 
  • Control pets
  • Respect other people (property owners, other travellers)
  • Take your garbage out
  • Don’t feed or touch animals

It’s everyone’s job to protect our incredible wildlife legacy. The province has an R.A.P.P. (Report All Poachers and Polluters) program in place – so if you see something disturbing, dial toll free 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP), use #7277 on the TELUS Mobility Network, or report violators online (click here).

Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia

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