The British Columbia Wildlife
Act defines wildlife as all native and some non-native
amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals that live in B.C.
For some provisions of the Act, the definition includes
fish, and other B.C. legislation defines some insects
and plants as wildlife.
B.C. is home to more than 1138 species
of vertebrates, including 488 bird species, 142 mammal
species, 18 reptile species, 22 amphibian species, 83
freshwater fish species and 368 saltwater fish species.
152 wildlife species and sub-species
are considered candidates for endangered, threatened,
or vulnerable status. Three of these are legally designated
(by the provincial government) as endangered in B.C.: the
Burrowing Owl, and the American White Pelican and the
Vancouver Island Marmot. The Sea Otter is designated as
Threatened. Other species are under consideration for
Management of wildlife in Canada is
shared by the federal, provincial, and territorial governments.
Federal responsibility includes protection and management
of migratory birds as well as nationally significant wildlife
habitat, and responsibilities for endangered species,
control of international trade in endangered species,
research on wildlife issues of national importance, and
international wildlife treaties and issues.
For the most part, provincial and
territorial wildlife agencies are responsible for all
other wildlife matters. These include conservation and
management of wildlife populations and habitat within
their borders, issuing licences and permits
for fishing, game hunting, and trapping, guidelines for
safe angling and trapping and outfitting policies.
Branch is responsible for biodiversity science, standards
and policy for the Ministry, and is responsible for the
preparation of a biodiversity strategy for British Columbia. Important
aspects of this work include the development of more specific
strategies on living rivers and species at risk. The Branch
develops legislation, regulations, standards and guidelines
to protect natural diversity. It also manages the acquisition
and application of science-based information and knowledge
for aquatic and terrestrial habitats and species. The
Branch establishes protocols and performance measures
for monitoring and reporting on the state of provincial
biodiversity and the effectiveness of activities being
used to sustain it.