Qualicum National Wildlife Area pamphlet

Qualicum National Wildlife Area
Photo: N. Dawe © Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2015. Qualicum National Wildlife Area

What makes Qualicum NWA so special?

Qualicum National Wildlife Area (NWA) protects three separate estuaries on the east coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, in a region that attracts millions of birds each year. Established between 1973 and 1979, the NWA’s three units--Rosewall Creek, Marshall-Stevenson and Nanoose Bay--protect a total of 82 hectares of coastal Douglas-fir forest, upland meadow and intertidal marsh habitat.

Qualicum NWA:

  • provides staging habitat for major concentrations of migratory waterfowl such as Brant geese;
  • protects wintering habitat for Trumpeter Swans, shorebirds and colonial seabirds;
  • is part of the “Little Qualicum Estuary to Nanoose Bay” Important Bird Area;
  • is part of the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve;
  • protects habitat for the Great Blue Heron fannini subspecies, a species of special concern.

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 Qualicum NWA?

Access to Nisutlin River Delta NWA is not restricted; however, there are no roads to the area and no visitor facilities. Despite this, certain activities are authorized, including camping, swimming, picnicking and wildlife observation. Other activities, such as hunting and fishing, may occur subject to certain restrictions. To protect wildlife from disturbance, the use of all-terrain vehicles, motorized personal watercraft, air boats and hovercrafts are prohibited. For more information on authorized activities, contact the Canadian Wildlife Service.

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
Email: ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca
Protected Area web site
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