8 Ways to Celebrate UN World Wildlife Day in Vancouver

Seals in front of a wildlife watching zodiac

Photo: Tourism Vancouver / Coast Mountain Photography

United Nations World Wildlife Day occurs each year on March 3rd to raise awareness of the importance of the world’s wild animals and plants. This year the UN is organizing a virtual event that you can livestream. But there are lots of ways to celebrate World Wildlife Day in Vancouver.

Until further notice, in line with the public health order, non-essential travel into, within, and out of BC is not recommended. BC residents, let’s do our part by continuing to stay small and support local with your immediate household, in accordance with the latest guidelines.


Look for Wildlife Around the City

Vancouver has plenty of urban wildlife. Head to Stanley Park to spot raccoons, coyotes, ducks, and geese at Lost Lagoon, beavers and frogs at Beaver Lake, heron nests near the tennis courts, and eagles soaring overhead along the seawall. There are lots of other popular places to spot critters in our guide to wildlife watching in Vancouver.


Take a Hike

Walk quietly along Vancouver’s hiking trails and see which animals you can see. Red squirrels chatter overhead. Pileated woodpeckers, Canada jays, and chickadees dart from branch to branch. Deer rustle in the underbrush. Use our spring hiking guide to choose a trail.

Hikers on Vancouver's North Shore

Photo: Mike Seehagel


Explore the Ocean

Take a walk along the beach at low tide to see mussels, barnacles, crabs, and lots of shorebirds. Paddle a kayak or stand-up paddleboard in False Creek or Deep Cove and watch for eagles and seals. Or sign-up for a SCUBA diving course for underwater adventures through the kelp forest.


Go Bird Watching

Vancouver is a great spot for bird watching thanks to its location on the Pacific Flyway, a north-south bird migration route. Spring is a great time for bird watching with lots of interesting species passing through. Check out our suggestions for the best birdwatching spots.


Take a Wildlife Watching or Foraging Tour

Several Vancouver companies offer wildlife watching boat tours that take you out into the Strait of Georgia. It’s a bit early in the season to see whales, but you are likely to spot sea lions, eagles, seals, dolphins, porpoises, and more. For something a bit different, head out for a guided foraging trip with Swallowtail Tours. You’ll learn about BC’s indigenous plants and sea life, including which ones are edible.

People on a zodiac wildlife tour near Vancouver

Photo: Tourism Vancouver / Coast Mountain Photography


Livestream a Wildlife Cam

Enjoy Vancouver’s wildlife without leaving home. There are several webcams around the city, streaming live footage of wildlife all day long. Check the Stanley Park Heron Cam for a close-up look at life in a busy heron colony. Grouse Mountain’s resident grizzly bears, Grinder and Coola, are finishing up their hibernation. You can watch them snooze on the Bear Den cam. The Vancouver Aquarium may be temporarily closed, but they have several live webcams. The Baby Otter Cam is particularly adorable.


Visit Science World

Science World’s Search: Sara Stern Gallery is a great place to learn about plants and wildlife. You can climb inside a beaver lodge, touch animal bones, and get up close to insects. The temporary Arctic Voices exhibit is also great for wildlife lovers. You’ll learn about the plants, animals, and people of the tundra ecosystem. The exhibits about arctic whales and polar bears are especially cool.

Woman standing in front of a polar bear cut out at Science World in Vancouver


Donate or Volunteer with a Local Wildlife Non-Profit

Many Vancouver non-profits work to help wildlife, doing important conservation, education, and rescue work. UN World Wildlife Day is the perfect time to give back by donating your money or time. Here are some Vancouver wildlife non-profits you can help:

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