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WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS


As leaders in ethical wildlife viewing, education and conservation, we have been actively involved with the research, conservation and protection of the wildlife we encounter since the company was formed in 1980.

THE UNKNOWN IS PART OF THE ADVENTURE

Every trip into this exciting and uniquely diverse, natural marine environment is different. So prepare yourself with this insight into some of the marine mammals, wildlife and birds you may see as we cruise through the calm protected waters of the Johnstone Strait, Blackfish Sound and the Broughton Archipelago


CETACEANS

(Whales, Dolphins, and Porposises)

The Killer Whale or Orca

Orcinus orca

This is the largest member of the dolphin family. There are three eco-types of orca making up four populations within our waters around Vancouver Island.

The four populations are:
The two inshore fish eating populations, known as the “northern residents” and the “southern residents”.
The mammal eating population known as “transients” or “Biggs killer whales”.
The offshore fish eating population known as “offshores”.

Pacific White-Sided Dolphin

Lagenorhynchus obliquidens

This is one of the most acrobatic dolphin species in the world, capable of leaps of up to 3 metres. Pacific white-sided dolphins are sighted year-round in our area. They are extremely surface active, social and vocal and can be found traveling in groups of 20 to more than 1000.

Dolphins and porpoises belong to different families both are abundant in our area. The most noticeable difference is that porpoises have a more triangular dorsal fin.


Harbour Porpoise

Phocoena phocoena

The Harbour porpoise is a cryptic animal. It is difficult to study as it only surfaces briefly and has no distinct markings to tell individuals apart.

Dall’s Porpoise

Phocoenoides dalli

Of the six porpoise species in the world, the Dall’s porpoise is one of the biggest and certainly the fastest. They are able to travel up to 55 km hour. When travelling fast they appear to hydroplane on the surface and create a distinct v-shaped splash.


Minke Whale

Balaenoptera acutorstrata

This is the second smallest balean cetacean in the world and seeing one is a real treat!


Humpback Whales

Megaptera novaeangliae

Sightings of humpback whales are becoming increasingly common. It appears that these majestic giants are rediscovering the inland waters of Vancouver Island as a rich food source along their migration route. In fact, it’s a testimony to the resilience of nature that we saw Humpback whales almost every day last year!



PINNIPEDS

Sea Lions and seals

The Steller or Northern sea lion is the world’s largest sea lion species. They are in the area in very large numbers in spring and fall. Male Californian sea lions are occasionally sighted in the area.


Northern elephant seals also range into this area occasionally.


Pacific harbour seals are abundant with peak pupping being in mid-July.


OTHER MAMMALS

Our four legged friends

The islands of the Broughton and Blackfish Archipelagos are home to large numbers of black bear, river otters, wolves, mink, raccoons and deer. Wolf sightings are rare but sightings of bear, deer, otters and mink are very common. Often, even while traveling we may see bear and deer.

Populations of river otters and mink live within the Cove itself.



BIRDS



Year-round resident species include the bald eagle, Harlequin duck, great blue heron, pigeon guillemot, rhinoceros auklet, red-necked phalarope and black oystercatcher.

Even within picturesque Telegraph Cove itself, the birds delight visitors. The eagles, herons and gulls wait to tease fishermen and profit from their catch. Rufous hummingbirds zoom from feeder to feeder while Steller’s jays squawk and belted kingfishers chatter.

It is in the late summer and fall however, that the bird life becomes truly extraordinary as winter residents return and migrating visitors alight on the Pacific flyway. Sooty shearwaters return in floods; Leach’s and fork-tailed storm-petrels are common, as are surf and white-winged scoters.



IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A FUN & EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE




Reservations required – book online
or call 1 250 928 3185 toll free: 1 800 665 3066

BC’S 1st whale watching company looks forward to taking you
out into the wild for a remarkable experience!