It may surprise people to learn of the diversity of wildlife supported by Stanley Park. From seasonally migrating birds to once-extirpated Pacific chorus frogs, the Park is a veritable oasis for wildlife in the city.
Stanley Park is also home to wildlife that have adapted remarkably well to living around people, amidst homes and streets throughout the Lower Mainland. Raccoons, skunks, squirrels, and coyotes only name a few! Urban wildlife species are well-suited to city life, resulting from a combination of factors like habitat preferences, diet, and opportunism.
Conflicts between people and wildlife arise, however, when boundaries between both are blurred. When wildlife lose a healthy fear of people, they may associate and seek out humans for food – removing their special “wildness”. They can become malnourished, dependent, and even turn aggressive towards humans.
For the sake of wildlife and Stanley Park visitors, please do not feed any wildlife!
Tips for Enjoying Wildlife in Stanley Park
- Look for volunteer opportunities with wildlife monitoring or education programs
- Bring binoculars, field guides, map, journal and pen, and a friend!
- Plan to come at the best time of day for the wildlife you seek.
- Watch for signs of their presence: beaver-chewed trees, otter slides, coyote scat, etc.
- Also watch for human-made signs – many of them indicate special habitat (e.g. Ecologically Sensitive Areas)
- Share your wildlife observations with us!
- Report coyote sightings to Co-Existing with Coyotes
Etiquette for Wildlife Watching
- Be safe: Watch out for bikes and other trail users. Let others know where you’ll be.
- Be observant: Tread mindfully, note the surrounding habitat, keep your eyes and ears open.
- Be responsible: Keep to the trails and do not chase, corner, nor feed wildlife. Do not use drones in the Park. Hold on to trash until you get home or find a receptacle. Keep your dog on-leash.
- The following organisations can respond to injured wildlife reports:
How to Co-Exist with Urban Wildlife?
- Learn about Co-Existing with Coyotes
- Find helpful resources from the BC SPCA for many other backyard neighbours