Protecting B.C.'s Biodiversity

The variety of living things, or biodiversity, in B.C. provides us with healthy wild spaces to enjoy, clean air and water, and sustainable natural resource industries. B.C. works with partners all over the world to protect B.C.’s diversity of life.

Interesting Facts

  • B.C. occupies 95 million hectares, with a diverse physiography, climate, flora and fauna
  • The province's unique land and climate systems is home to one of the richest wildlife resources in North America
  • Three-quarters of Canada's mammal species are found in B.C. – 24 of those species are exclusive to our province
  • There are 1,140 native species of vertebrates in B.C., including:
    • 488 species of birds
    • 480 species of fish
    • 136 species of mammals
    • 20 species of amphibians
    • 16 species of reptiles
  • Additional species of vertebrates are regularly recorded here, perhaps as a result of the expansion of home ranges and more intensive research
  • Birds: Over 360 bird species breed in the province, 162 of those (55%) breed nowhere else in Canada
  • Plants and funghi: British Columbia has an estimated 1,596 native vascular plants species, (nearly 27% are considered species at risk). Approximately 1,000 bryophytes (mosses and liverworts), 1600 lichens, 522 species of attached algae and well over 10,000 species of fungi are present in the province
  • Invertebrates: Invertebrate species probably number between 50,000 and 70,000, including 35,000 species of insects

Catalogue of Biodiversity Publications

Explore a complete, annotated list of publications about the concepts and importance of conserving biodiversity.

Biodiversity Conservation

Biodiversity conservation programs in the Ministry of Environment work toward maintaining the diversity and abundance of native species and habitats throughout British Columbia. Activities include:

  • Providing information and scientific expertise on species and populations:
  • Conducting and coordinating research
  • Developing strategies to protect the natural diversity of B.C.
  • Participating on and/or leading recovery planning for species and ecosystems at risk
  • Regularly communicating, cooperating and developing partnerships with regional staff, other agencies, organizations and the public to maintain native species and their habitats (e.g., BC Frogwatch, and stewardship programs such as Heron Stewardship) and to provide program objectivity and consistency province-wide
  • Coordinating and administering acquisition of land critical for wildlife, securing important habitat through the establishment of Wildlife Management Areas
  • Participating in and providing wildlife and wildlife value information for land use planning processes and practices, and environmental assessments and impact reporting
  • Coordinating planning for access management and habitat protection