Aerial view of Tofino Mudflats Wildlife Management Area, Clayoquot Sound. Photo: Wayne Barnes

The Tofino Mudflats Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is 21 square kilometers of rich, diverse habitats for numerous wildlife species. It is comprised of tidal flats, shallow to deep subtidal areas, rock and gravel beaches, marshes, tidal channels, streams, riparian areas, and dense coastal temperate rainforest. More sheltered than most intertidal environments, and richer in nutrients, the mudflats are a fascinating place to explore.

With tides that ebb up to 2.25 kilometers and mud as deep as 6ft, numerous species call the Tofino mudflats home. Pipefish, ghost shrimp, and ribbon worms are just some of the small fish and invertebrates that spend their whole lives in the eelgrass and mud of Tofino Mudflats WMA. Other animals use the mudflats daily or seasonally. Thousands of migratory and local birds species can be found feeding and resting. Grey whales and orcas pass through the area’s deep channels. Bears, cougars and wolves forage in the forest and shoreline environments.

The Tofino Mudflats WMA was established in 1997 to conserve wildlife habitat in Clayoquot Sound and is part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It has been extremely valued by the local communities, visitors, along with many others for its recreational, economic, cultural, scientific, and ecological purposes. Whether a bird watcher, a shellfish harvester or a scientist, the Tofino Mudflats Wildlife Management Area is an exciting place to visit.

Click here for info on the Tofino Mudflats WMA's Important Bird Area designation.
Click here for more info on the Tofino Mudflats Wildlife Management Area (BC Gov Site).

Eelgrass Monitoring Program

In 2012, the Raincoast Education Society commissioned a State of the Eelgrass Report for Clayoquot Sound, compiling all eelgrass research, monitoring and mapping projects in the region between 1974 and 2012. The report suggested the major knowledge gap of the region is related to the lack of understanding of the distribution and health of eelgrass habitats.

Read more about Eelgrass Monitoring Program


The Tofino Mudflats WMA comprises three separate units, totaling 21 square kilometers (8 square miles) in all, of mostly intertidal mudflat...

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