Fish and Wildlife

Fish and wildlife values are not only globally significant in the M-KMA, but are also of incredibly high value locally and regionally. Stewardship of the area is very important to those who are closest to the land in the M-KMA such as First Nations, area residents and those whose livelihoods depend on the area. Local residents of Fort St. John, Fort Nelson, Mackenzie and other nearby communities as well as British Columbians and Canadians have a natural treasure in the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area.

The wildlife found in the M-KMA is supported by a variety of habitats from high elevation subalpine and alpine to low lying meadows and wetlands. The provincial agency that has a regulatory responsibility for wildlife management is the Ministry of Environment.

So, what makes the M-KMA special and unique in terms of wildlife?

In a world where people are expanding into all areas of the natural environment with urbanisation, road construction and motorised vehicles, a great many natural areas including ecosystems and habitats for wildlife are becoming fragmented and divided. In many places small islands of habitat are all that remain to support species. Such intense levels of development can lead to a loss of biodiversity and a growing number of vulnerable (blue-listed) or endangered (red-listed) species.

The M-KMA supports sizeable, functioning ecosystems, with low levels of disturbance compared to other areas influenced by humans, in which large mammals such as black and grizzly bears, moose, mountain goats and Stone's sheep are found in densities of global significance. It is the low density of roads, motorised access and industrial development that has so far enabled ecosystems to remain in an essentially intact and natural state.

The M-KMA supports the largest predator-prey system in North America.

The wildlife of the M-KMA is in itself a resource to be managed. With increasing activity in the M-KMA, there is a need to carefully manage wildlife and wildlife habitat. An M-KMA Wildlife Strategy was approved by the Minister of the Environment in October of 2009. THis strategy along with the Technical Manual will guide wildlife management direction as well as provide management direction to other resource managers to ensure that sensitive wildlife habitats are protected.

Links for M-K Wildlife Strategy:

Link for M-K Wildlife Tecnical Manual:

Hunting and Fishing

Hunting and fishing in the M-KMA plays a major role in recreation within the area. Each year hunters and anglers spend time in the M-KMA, both through guided expeditions and resident hunters, experiencing the wilderness and searching for wildlife. Some wish to bring home a photograph, while others are interested in harvesting wildlife for trophies or for sustenance. As well, trapping fur bearers such as Lynx, Marten, Beaver and Wolverine continues into the present as a traditional activity in the M-KMA.

For information on hunting and angling in the M-KMA, please refer to the BC hunting and fishing synopses.

Examples of M-KMA Wildlife Species
Large Mammals Small Mammals Birds Amphibians
Moose Lynx grouse Western Toad
Elk rabbits ptarmigan Wood Frogs
Mule & Whitetail deer Marten Bald Eagle Boreal Chorus Frog
Woodland Caribou ground squirrels warblers Columbia Spotted Frog
Plains & Wood bison squirrels owls Long Toed Salamander
Stone's Sheep bats woodpeckers  
Mountain Goat otters vireos  
Gray Wolf mice Sandhill Cranes  
Black & Grizzly bear   ducks  

Freshwater game fish and regionally important freshwater fish species in Protected Areas:

Examples of M-KMA Fish Species
Freshwater Game Fish Freshwater Non-Game Fish
Arctic grayling emerald shiner
bull trout spottail shiner
lake whitefish lake cisco
mountain whitefish Arctic cisco
northern pike pygmy whitefish
burbot inconnu/sheefish
lake trout ninespine
rainbow trout stickleback
  spoonhead sculpin

For more information please refer to the BC Conservation Data Center - check out the Peace, Fort Nelson and Mackenzie Forest District species lists. Examples of wildlife and fish species was summarised from the (Protected Areas of the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area Background Document. Prepared for BC Parks, by the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks Division. February 1999. Fort St. John, BC).