Plants, animals and ecosystems
British Columbia is home to tens of thousands of plant and animal species living in a rich diversity of habitats and ecosystems. Responsible decision making and positive action on our part will help protect B.C. wildlife and their home.
Healthy ecosystems provide important “services,” like clean air and water, healthy forests and farms, and habitat for our plants and animals. British Columbia contains a diverse range of ecosystems that support thousands of individual plant and animal species.
Plants provide humans and other animals with food and shelter, cool the environment and help provide clean air and water. Fungi break down dead material, make nutrients available to other living things, and form connections with trees that help keep forests healthy.
When we take care of B.C.’s wildlife and the habitats in which they live, our own health and our economy benefit, too. Learn about collecting, sharing and accessing scientific data and information about wildlife in B.C below.
Species or ecosystems that are at risk of being lost can be assessed as endangered, threatened or of special concern. B.C. has an internationally important role in conservation with its diversity of ecosystems and landscapes that provide homes for many regionally, nationally, and globally significant species.
Invasive species are plants or animals that are not native to the province, or are outside of their natural distribution. Invasive species negatively impact British Columbia’s environment, people and/or economy.
Exotic animals, such as alligators, monkeys and pythons, are known as controlled alien species in British Columbia. Controlled alien species are animal species that are not native to our province and are therefore not considered wildlife. The B.C. government regulates all interactions with controlled alien species to ensure public safety.