Vaseux-Bighorn National Wildlife Area pamphlet

Vaseux-Bighorn National Wildlife Area
Photo: © Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2015. Vaseux-Bighorn National Wildlife Area

What makes Vaseux-Bighorn NWA so special?

Vaseux-Bighorn National Wildlife Area (NWA) is home to some of the nation’s rarest species. Established in 1979 to protect a population of California Bighorn Sheep that now totals more than 200 individuals, the 812-hectare NWA is

  • home to over 30 at-risk species, including Lewis’ Woodpecker, Yellow-Breasted Chat, Western Screech Owl, Great Basin Gopher Snake, Western Yellow-Bellied Racer, Western Toad and Western Painted Turtle;
  • situated in Canada’s only true desert landscape;
  • comprised of many rare habitats ranging from wetlands and riparian thickets, to arid terraces and rugged cliffs;
  • located within one of Canada’s most biologically diverse regions that contains dry forest bench lands, grasslands and wetlands;
  • habitat for large numbers of plant and wildlife species, including rare migrants, endemic residents and some species not found elsewhere in Canada.

Environment and Climate Change Canada conducts monitoring and research, and manages the land for the benefit of the wildlife that inhabits the NWA, including the American Badger, the White Pelican and even the delicate Monarch Butterfly.

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 the 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 Vaseux-Bighorn NWA?

Public access is allowed on designated trails and on the wildlife viewing tower and boardwalk. Birds and other wildlife can be seen from the public trail and viewing tower. Access to other parts of the NWA is restricted, and all other activities within the NWA require a permit. For more information on access and permitting, please 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
Protected Area web site
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