Meet the Local Wildlife

Campbell River’s residents are more than just the people. Iconic Canadian wildlife roams the land, seas, and skies around the city. It’s entirely possible that on a lucky day you could spot a breaching whale, a bear devouring salmon or a pair of bald eagles soaring above. Consider this your wildlife watching checklist.

Pacific White Sided Dolphins

These special mammals travel in groups of 50-100 and can be spotted cruising and playing in the waters off the shores of the city. Spottings are unpredictable but are often had on a boat in the summer months.


Not to brag but our waters are home to both orcas and humpback whales. The most awe-inspiring encounters with these majestic mammals are on a guided wildlife tour.

Sea Lions

North of town on the rocky and wild coasts of the Discovery Passage, is where you can most often spot sea lions lounging. These mammals like to stay on shore, away from the hunting pods of Orcas.


Where there’s a harbour, there’s often a seal. These creatures can sometimes be spotted from the shore on the Seawalk, for your best chances, consider going on a guided tour of the area. 


With ample food in the area and an abundance of trees for shelter, over 250 species of birds call Campbell River home. A variety of species can often be found in the most wooded areas while the waters of the Georgia Straight serve as prime locations for birds of prey.


If you can see a treetop in Campbell River, chances are someone might be perched above and looking back at you. The areas famous Bald Eagles have no limits to their range and can often be spotted by simply looking to the sky and shore lines. 


Fondly referred to as locals themselves, deer can be easily found throughout the region, in both forests and neighbourhoods. These timid animals can be easily spotted, but tread lightly as to not scare them away.

Roosevelt Elk

Less commonly seen, the Roosevelt Elk call Campbell River home and are the largest of the four surviving subspecies of elk in North America.


Black bears call the wilderness surrounding the city home. While it is possible to sight these animals in the wild, it is advised to take all precautions to minimize the chances of an encounter. The cities local operators run Grizzly watching tours in the late summer and fall this is the safest way to view these amazing residents.


Each fall the salmon return to the Campbell and Quinsam River, watching them return to spawn is a must see from Septemeber-October. The best spot to watch them is at the Quinsam Fish Hatchery. Avoid walking in shallow river bed areas or allowing your pets to run through similar areas this time of year, so that key habitat isn’t disturbed for spawning fish.