Wildlife In The Okanagan BC

Amazing Animals Of British Columbia

The diversity of wildlife living in the Okanagan Valley is incredible. And viewing wild animals in their natural habitat is a beautiful thing.

Wild animals that you may encounter in the Okanagan Valley includes bears, deer, caribou, moose, wild cougar or puma cat, big horn sheep, wild (or feral) horses, birds and rattlesnakes, to name a few.

There are many opportunities for viewing animals of many kinds almost everywhere you go in the Okanagan, and if done so safely, both you, the animals and their natural habitat are protected...

....like these darling - but sometimes a little annoying to some local gardeners ;) - marmots.

okanagan bc wildlife marmot

This page is all about Okanagan BC wildlife, some wild animals facts, and some basic hiking and outdoor safety tips for exploring the area and camping safety tips if you are on a camping vacation.

If you enjoy wildlife viewing, there are other interesting reptiles, unusual rodents, and even some very cool insects that are found here in the Okanagan that you can learn more about. You can also learn about some Canadian endangeres species such as the burrowing owl.

Naturally with desert, mountains, forest, wilderness and exploring comes risk to animals, humans and domestic pets. And though sightings nor encounters with cougars are all that common, bears are known to be seen in residential and wilderness areas.

okanagan bc wildlife big horn sheep

And in particular, the western diamond back rattle snake is common - Yes, every summer there are at least a few rattle snake bites reported.

Click on these links to learn facts about animals you may see in the Okanagan Valley.

okanagan wildlife birding

Birding is popular in the Okanagan Valley, with the presence of many North American bird species, programs and bird festivals.

The South Okanagan and lower Similkameen valleys have long been known among Canadian nature-lovers as one of the "must-visit" places for birding.

More than 300 species of birds, including some 200 breeding species, are found around the Okanagan, and there are several bird sanctuaries where you'll be more likely to see the most types of birds.

The Okanagan-Similkameen is home to a rare array of natural habitats that serve as a home for unique bird species, some of which are endangered.

The South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls (SORCO)rehab facility for injured and orphaned birds of prey (Raptors).

Avid bird watchers visit these regions every year to see birds they simply can't see anywhere else in Canada.

If you're here visiting during the month of May, you can take in the annual Meadowlark Festival in the South Okanagan, or the Salmon Arm Grebe Festival in the Shuswap.

Both of these events offer great opportunities to experience some of the most beautiful and unique birds during the spring.

Okanagan Wildlife & Outdoor Safety

Not all the wild animals in the Okanagan Valley are classed as 'dangerous wildlife', but all should be considered potentially dangerous, including deer that you may see within city and town limits.

okanagan bc wildlife white tailed deer in the city We do share the backcountry, and sometimes within city and town limits, with many wild animals that can sometimes be dangerous; awareness will help protect you and your family and our wildlife too.

Remember that any wild animal, even a white-tailed deer, can be dangerous.

Wild animals are usually wary of human beings and "more inclined to flee or hide than to attack".

However, in places such as hiking trails, forest service areas, campgrounds, parks and some residential areas there are a lot of people in the same areas that animals roam.

These animals get used to human presence and this can create safety trouble for humans, the animals themselves and also domesticated pets.

The best way to avoid encounters with animals in their natural habitat is to make noise while you're hiking, whether just by talking with your hiking party, or by wearing bear bells.

Noise alerts the animals to your presence, and most often will cause them to run away. Most animals only attack when they are surprised.

Please.....never attempt to feed any wildlife, including ducks, birds, chipmunks or squirrels!

If you encounter a wild animal, simply give them their space. Move slowly around or away from it and resist the impulse to get close to, reach out, or call out to them.

Take pictures, using a zoom lens - never try to move closer to an animal to get a better picture. If you plan to do a lot of wildlife viewing, bring a pair of good binoculars or a telescope.

Always keep campgrounds clean to avoid attracting dangerous animals to your campsite. Coolers are NOT bearproof!

Places To Visit To Learn About Okanagan Wildlife

You can learn all about Okanagan wildlife, reptiles and amphibians, spiders and insects, the Canadian moose, Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, Yellow bellied marmots, Big horned sheep, Burrowing owls, Salmon species and much more at some of these wonderful and educational attractions in the Okanagan.

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By: Erika Friedrich Copyright© 2008-2014 OkanaganVacationGuide.com All Rights Reserved