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Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Parksville-Qualicum Beach Wildlife Management Area

About This Wildlife Management Area

Date Designated: March 31, 1993

Purpose: Conservation of estuarine and foreshore habitat used by waterfowl and fish.

Size: 1,024 hectares

Region: West Coast

Location and Maps

East coast of Vancouver Island, from Qualicum Beach to Parksville

Nature and Culture

Wildlife

The abundance and diversity of natural resources found in this WMA are outstanding on a global scale. The many estuaries, beaches, and foreshore gravel bars provide critical staging grounds for the internationally important Pacific Brant Sea Goose. These habitats are equally significant to over sixty other waterbird species; over 100,000 waterbirds come to feed in the productive foreshore waters. The estuaries and foreshore zones provide vital rearing habitat to all Pacific salmon species and Steelhead and coastal Cutthroat Trout. Millions of Herring spawn each spring on the abundant Eel Grass and algal beds found within the WMA foreshore. This in turn attracts several marine mammals such as California Sea Lion, Harbour Seal, Northern Sea Lion, and Harbour Porpoise. Parksville-Qualicum Beach Wildlife Management Area

Physiography, Climate and Vegetation

The WMA is in a temperate coastal climate zone in a mountain rain-shadow, and is made up of beaches, foreshore gravel bars and the estuary of the Englishman River. The bedrock geology is predominately sedimentary, mainly sandstone and conglomerate. On the Englishman River the surficial deposits consist of cobbles, coarse gravel, sands, and silts derived from the river’s sediment load. Wave action from the Strait of Georgia has formed a modified alluvial fan, and over time resulted in the development of the sand-spit, sand-bar and river channel complex. The estuary component also includes some upland elements which support mixed coniferous and deciduous forests. The coniferous communities are dominated by Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar, Grand Fir and Western White Pine, while the deciduous communities include Bigleaf Maple, Red Alder and Black Cottonwood.

Compatible Resource and Recreation Uses

Located in a popular tourist area, activities include clam digging, swimming, competitive sand castle building, fishing, boating and wildlife viewing.