Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

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.

Size: 1,645 hectares

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.

Management Planning

Information on management direction is available from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations regional office.

Management Partners

The Nature Trust of BC

Ducks Unlimited Canada

Canadian Wildlife Service-Environment Canada

Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation

Parks Canada

Raincoast Education Society

Tofino Botanical Gardens

Tofino Streamkeepers

Clayoquot Biosphere Trust