British Columbia Intermountain

Level III Ducks Unlimited conservation priority area, breeding grounds for more than 1.1 million waterfowl

© Marlene Buccione

The British Columbia Intermountain region covers more than 34 percent of the area of British Columbia, and supports a breeding waterfowl population of more than 1 million birds. The area includes the Canadian portion of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) Great Basin and the majority of the Canadian portion of the Northern Rockies Bird Conservation regions. The region is delineated by the crest of the Coast Mountains on the west, the crest of the Rocky Mountains on the east, the southern extent of the boreal forest to the north and the boundary with the United States on the south.

Importance to waterfowl

  • The habitats most important to waterfowl occur in the valleys and on mid-elevation plateaus.
  • The Intermountain contains important breeding habitat for 26 species of ducks, as well as Canada geese.
  • Total provincial waterfowl breeding in the Intermountain alone is calculated to be around 1.1 million.
  • The region is used extensively by migrating and wintering waterfowl.

Habitat issues

  • British Columbia Intermountain mapPopulation data suggest that mallards, northern pintails, blue-winged teal, common goldeneyes, ruddy ducks, harlequin ducks, common mergansers and red-breasted mergansers have markedly declined in British Columbia during the last 30 years, likely due to wetland loss and rangeland degradation.
  • The majority of wetland drainage has taken place on private land in valley bottoms where up to 80 percent of wetlands have been drained.

DU's conservation focus

  • Identify key research on waterfowl ecology to identify limiting factors.
  • Maintain and enhance the regulations, legislation and policies that improve habitat quality.
  • Maintain current waterfowl populations and species composition.
  • Encourage forestry practices that emulate natural ecological processes.
  • Maintain wetland habitat quantity and quality.

More information