Tofino Mudflats Wildlife Management Area
About This Wildlife Management Area
Date Designated: April 8, 1997
Purpose: Conservation of an important wetland complex for waterfowl and shorebirds.
Region: West Coast
Location and Maps
One section of foreshore
approximately 7 km southeast of Tofino and two other sections along the
southwest coast of Meares Island
Nature and Culture
The Tofino Mudflats has been ranked as the most important wetland complex
on the west coast of Vancouver Island and one of the top ten most critical
wetlands for migratory waterfowl on the west coast of Canada. It is one
of a very few areas in Pacific Canada nominated as a Western Hemisphere
Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) site to help conserve migratory shorebirds.
The WMA also supports fish and shellfish species, along with marine and
terrestrial mammals such as Harbour Porpoise, Harbour Seal, Mink, River
Otter, Raccoon, Black Bear, Gray Wolf, Black-tailed Deer and Cougar. Eight
species of herptiles are thought to utilize the WMA, and endangered wildlife
species that occur here include Northern Goshawk, Peregrine Falcon and
Northern (Steller) Sea Lion. The region accounts for 10 to 15% of the
total commercial Dungeness Crab landings in BC, and it is estimated that
one half of these are dependent on the WMA area.
Physiography, Climate and Vegetation
The WMA is comprised of tidal flats, shallow to deep subtidal areas,
rock/gravel beaches, marshes, tidal channels, streams, riparian areas,
and Western Hemlock-Western Red Cedar coastal upland forests. The mudflats
support extensive communities of Eelgrass and Green Algae.
Compatible Resource and Recreation Uses
The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation has historically used the area in and
around the Tofino Mudflats WMA, and continues to do so. Outdoor recreation
and tourism activities include kayaking and canoeing, bird and wildlife
watching, sightseeing, hunting, sport fishing, and clam and crab harvesting.
There are a number of permitted commercial activities within the WMA,
including one active mining lease.