Tofino Wildlife Vol. 12 Clayoquot Island

Over the coming weeks West Coast Aquatic Safaris will present a compilation of information on the wildlife of the Pacific Rim as well as some of the flora and fauna. Today we will begin a look at Clayoquot Island

Didn’t have a chance to make it over to Clayoquot Island this past Victoria Day weekend? Wondering what all the commotion was about? Let us help you! Clayoquot Island is approximately 250 acres of rainforest, sand dunes, beaches, and gardens. It was the first white settlement in the area and was founded around 1860. Opening on of the first trading posts, Clayoquot Island was a thriving community with a log jail house, a gold assay office, a school, many houses, and the first hotel and beer parlour on the west coast. In 1890’s ships bound for the Bering Sea were outfitted on this island.

Each year on Queen Victoria’s birthday, a big celebration was held on this island for all coastal villages.  Betty Farmer bought the island in the late 1930s and ran Clayoquot Lodge and Pub and planted many gardens that are still thriving today! Susan Bloom, the current owner has turned it into a wildlife refuge (Clayoquot Island Preserve) home to birds, river otters, mink, raccoons, osprey, eagles, raven, deer, cougars, bears, and wolves! Each year the Brandt Geese stop by on their migration to the North. Old growth forest covers 70% of the island protected with the Land Conservancy of B.C.

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