Columbia National Wildlife Area pamphlet

Columbia National Wildlife Area
Photo: B. Hammond © Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2015. Columbia National Wildlife Area

What makes Columbia NWA so special?

Columbia National Wildlife Area (NWA) is situated in the southern part of British Columbia’s spectacular Rocky Mountain Trench. The Columbia River and its extensive wetlands provide important staging and breeding habitats for waterfowl and migratory birds of the Pacific flyway, as well as homes for many other wetland-dependent wildlife, fish and plant species. Established between 1978 and 1984, the four units in the NWA--Wilmer, Spillimacheen, Brisco and Harrogate-protect 1001 hectares of wildlife habitat for

  • over 250 bird species including Trumpeter and Tundra Swans;
  • 17 mammal species including the endangered American Badger;
  • 6 species at risk such as Lewis’s Woodpecker and 4 rare plant communities.

Columbia NWA also contributes to protecting the Columbia Wetlands Ramsar site, recognized as a wetland ecosystem of international importance.

What are Environment and Climate Change Canada Protected Areas?

Environment and Climate Change Canada establishes marine and terrestrial NWAs for the purposes of conservation, research and interpretation. NWAs are established to protect migratory birds, species at risk, and other wildlife and their habitats. NWAs are established under the authority of the Canada Wildlife Act and are, first and foremost, places for wildlife.

Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs) are established under the authority of the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, and provide a refuge for migratory birds in marine and terrestrial environments. The current Protected Areas Network consists of 54 NWAs and 92 MBSs comprising more than 12 million hectares across Canada.

What can I do at Columbia NWA?

Some seasonal activities such as hiking, canoeing and wildlife viewing are permitted. Some other types of activities may be allowed, although additional federal or provincial permits may be required. More information on access and permitting for Columbia NWA can be obtained by contacting the Environment and Climate Change Canada regional office.

Canada Map
Long description of the map

Location of the NWA on an illustrated map of Canada. The NWA location is indicated by a general annotation in the province of British Columbia.

Who can I contact?

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Pacific and Yukon Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
5421 Robertson Road
Delta, British Columbia V4K 3N2
Protected Area web site
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