Wetlands are a very important and critical ecosystem in British Columbia and the Greater Vancouver area. BC is home to 3 Wetlands of international importance, Creston Valley, Columbia Wetlands, and the Fraser River Delta.
The Fraser Delta is considered the most important river delta and estuary for fish and birds on the western Canadian coast. This area is an internationally critical migratory stopover for the Western Sandpiper as well as providing feeding and roosting sites for a quarter million migrating and wintering waterfowl, as well as a million shorebirds. Provincial and Federally listed fish species of concern can be found in this area consisting of river channels, sloughs, estuarine marsh, mudflats and flood plains. This is a critical area for salmon as they transition back to the marine stage of their life cycle. The total protected area of the Fraser River Delta exceeds 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres).
It is vital to maintain and protect these areas as they are home to or utilized by many local fauna. The protection of the Fraser Delta supports many other government initiatives such as the Migratory Birds Convention Act, Species at Risk Act, North American Waterfowl Management Plan and Canada Wildlife Act. Since European settlement in the Greater Vancouver Area, we have lost 75-80% of the wetlands.
Wetlands are critical to 3 prominent conservation programs here at GVZoo, The Western Painted Turtle, Oregon Spotted Frog and the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly.
The easiest way for you to help conserve these areas is to get to know them better. Go for a walk, a hike, or have a picnic (be sure to clean up!). Explore the nature we all have in our backyard here in beautiful British Columbia and know you’re helping to preserve it.