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Wildlife diversity in British Columbia: distribution and habitat use of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals in Biogeoclimatic Zones

Author(s) or contact(s): V. Stevens
Source: Research Branch
Subject: Wildlife
Series: Working Paper
Other details:  Published 1995. Hardcopy is available.


This report summarizes basic and essential information on terrestrial vertebrates in British Columbia and is intended for wildlife managers and other workers in resource management. Whereas most wildlife information is organized by species or species group, this report is organized by geographic area. The distribution and abundance of the 560 terrestrial vertebrate, marine mammal, and marine reptile species in British Columbia are summarized. The same treatment is given those subspecies and populations considered at risk. Distribution is described using the biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification with some refinements using the ecoregional classification system.

The province’s 94 biogeoclimatic subzones are grouped into 49 subzone groups for wildlife. Seasonal abundance of each wildlife species is noted in the appropriate subzone group, yielding a complete species list for each subzone group by season. The 151 species, subspecies, and populations at risk plus selected species not at risk are correlated with 33 broad habitats within each biogeoclimatic zone. This indicates the broad habitats that species at risk may depend on and where special habitat protection measures may be needed.

Some data analysis is given and graphic comparisons of wildlife use by zone and habitat use within zones are shown. Not surprisingly, the richest zone (451 species) is the Coastal Western Hemlock. This high figure reflects the wide range of habitats represented in this zone. Alpine Tundra is the most depauperate zone with 125 species.

Keywords: Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds, and Mammals.

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Updated October 15, 2009