From the lowland floodplains of the Fraser River, to the cliffs of Sumas Mountain, the Abbotsford area has a diversity of habitats that support many wildlife species. The City of Abbotsford lies within the Coastal Western Hemlock Biogeoclimatic Zone of British Columbia with a total of 451 taxa (327 birds, 105 mammals, 13 amphibians, and 6 reptiles) known to occur within this zone. Because of its location along the coast from sea level up the windward side of the Coast Mountains, the Coastal Western Hemlock zone has a diversity of habitats including the rocky coastal islands, fiords, estuaries, and coastal coniferous forests. As such, this is the richest of the 14 zones for wildlife species and the Fraser Lowlands has the greatest diversity of birds, amphibians, and reptiles of any area in the province.
Management of wildlife/species-at-risk (and their habitats) in Canada is under the jurisdiction of the federal and provincial governments. While the City of Abbotsford does not have direct jurisdiction for wildlife/species-at-risk, the City has an interest in ensuring development/activities are consistent with senior government legislation, best management practices (BMPs), guidelines, expectations etc., as this ensures development/activities align with the City's Charter of Sustainability and Official Community Plan (e.g. Strategy #2 - Protecting Our Natural Environment). As such, the City requires Wildlife Assessment Reports be completed by development applicants as per the Wildlife Assessment Report Guidelines.
The City has completed ecosystem mapping on McKee Peak and Sumas Mountain. Click here to view results of “Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping” completed for McKee Peak in 2006, and click here to review results of “Sensitive Ecosystem Inventory” mapping completed for Sumas Mountain, excluding McKee Peak, in 2010.