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Ecological Framework of Canada
Pacific Maritime Ecozone


  1. Bald eagles
  2. Glaucous-winged gull
  3. Black bear
  4. Tree snail
  5. Black-tailed deer
  6. Winter wren
  7. American black oystercatcher
  8. Harlequin ducks
  9. Sea stars
  10. Northern saw-whet owl
  11. Gulls in large group, indicative of salmon attacking "ball-up" of herring
  12. Steller's jay
  13. Pelagic cormorant
  14. Northern sea lion
  15. Harbour seal
  16. Tufted puffin
  17. Mountain lion
  18. Sea urchin shell, carried up from shore by predator
  19. Chestnut-backed chickadee
  20. Killer whales
  21. Sooty blue grouse

Characteristic land mammals of this area include the Black-tailed Deer, Black and Grizzly bears, Mountain Lion (or Cougar), Fisher, and American Pika. Bird species unique to this area include the American Black Oyster Catcher, Tufted Puffin, Chestnut-backed Chickadee and, in southern regions only, the California and Mountain Quail. Other representative birds are the Northern Saw-whet Owl, Northern Pygmy Owl, Steller's Jay, Bald Eagle and Blue Grouse.

Several species and subspecies of wildlife evolved on the islands of the region: the Vancouver Island Marmot, found only in alpine meadows on Vancouver Island; the "Blond" or "Kermodei" bear, a subspecies of Black Bear found on a few north coastal islands; and the Roosevelt Elk, among others. Some are rare or endangered; others, such as the Dawson Caribou, once confined to Graham Island, are extinct.

The marine ecosystems of the ecozone support a tremendous abundance and diversity of organisms. Many seabirds, including the little-known Marbled Murrelet, nest along the coast. The area's many islands, estuaries and fiords provide critical habitat for countless migrating shorebirds and waterfowl, including the Trumpeter Swan and Sandhill Crane. Contributing to the richness of the ecosystem are a shallow continental shelf, ice-free coastal waters, deep-water upwellings of nutrients, and numerous freshwater discharges from coastal rivers.

Typical marine mammals include the Northern Sea Lion, Northern Fur Seal, Harbour Seal, and a host of whales: the giant Beaked Whale, Sperm Whale, Grey Whale, Killer Whale, Pacific Pilot Whale and Blue Whale. The endangered Sea Otter has been reintroduced to the northwest coast of Vancouver Island. Several species of salmon and their spawning streams are located throughout the ecozone. Pacific Herring and Pacific Halibut are also found here. Common freshwater species include the Cutthroat Trout, Dolly Varden, and Steelhead.