The Wildlife of the North Island

October 2023
orcas in telegraph cove

Orcas, Humpbacks, Bears and More!

Northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers, and adventure seekers. With its rugged landscapes, pristine waters, and dense forests, this region offers a unique opportunity to connect with the natural world. One of the most remarkable places to experience wildlife in Northern BC is Johnstone Strait. Nestled between Vancouver Island and the mainland, Johnstone Strait is renowned for its diverse and abundant wildlife. In this blog, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of this remarkable area and the incredible wildlife you can encounter.

  • Orcas

One of the top attractions of Johnstone Strait is the Northern Resident orca population. These majestic creatures, also known as killer whales, are a true spectacle to behold. The strait provides a critical habitat for these orcas, especially during the summer months when they hunt for salmon. You may also encounter Transient orcas, humpback whales, and minke whales while on these excursions.

  • Humpback Whales

Humpback Whales are some of the most majestic creatures we see in the area! During the Spring and Summer, Humpbacks migrate from the warm waters of Hawaii and other tropical regions to our area to feed. Our friends at Prince of Whales offer whale-watching trips, giving visitors the chance to witness these magnificent marine mammals feeding and having fun in the Johnstone Strait.

  • Black Bears

The area is home to a substantial population of black bears. This pristine wilderness offers a unique opportunity to observe these iconic creatures in their natural habitat. Guided bear-watching tours provide a safe and educational way to view these powerful animals in the wild, but you’ll also be able to see them from your kayak!

  • Bald Eagles

Johnstone Strait and its surrounding areas are also a haven for bald eagles. These majestic birds of prey can be spotted perched high in the trees, soaring overhead, or diving to catch fish from the strait’s waters. With their impressive wingspans and striking white heads, bald eagles are a common sight throughout the region. Wildlife enthusiasts and photographers will delight in capturing these birds in their natural habitat.

  • Stellar Sea Lions

The rocky outcrops and islands in Johnstone Strait are prime real estate for Stellar sea lions. These boisterous marine mammals create a cacophony of roars and barks as they jostle for space on the rocks. The sight and sound of a colony of Stellar sea lions is truly unforgettable. Boat tours and kayaking expeditions offer an excellent way to witness their playful antics from a safe distance.

  • Pacific White-Sided Dolphins

In addition to the larger marine mammals, Johnstone Strait is often frequented by Pacific white-sided dolphins. These agile and energetic dolphins are known for their acrobatics and playful behaviour. They can often be seen leaping out of the water and swimming with large groups. Observing these dolphins in their natural environment is a joy for visitors of all ages.

The surrounding temperate rainforests and lush landscapes of Northern Vancouver Island, BC are also home to various other wildlife, including cougars, sea wolves, and a rich array of bird species. Exploring Northern Vancouver Island, BC, especially by embarking on a wildlife kayaking tour, will allow you to immerse yourself in some of Canada’s most spectacular natural habitats. From the majestic orcas to the black bears and the charismatic dolphins, the region offers a diverse array of wildlife experiences. So, if you’re seeking an unforgettable wildlife encounter, make sure to put kayaking in the Johnstone Strait and Northern Vancouver Island, BC, on your travel bucket list!