National Wildlife Area - An area established under the Canada Wildlife Act (1973) to conserve essential habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife. Located on land owned or leased for a long term by the Federal Government.
Qualicum National Wildlife Area and the approved French form of the name, Réserve nationale de faune de Qualicum, are identified in Environment Canada's 1996 list of National Wildlife Areas, and in Wildlife Area Regulations C.R.C., c.1609 (2003, current to April 2013).
Source: Canadian Geographical Names Database, Ottawa
Established in 1977; 78 hectares (Environment Canada website/April 2013).
Source: included with note
Qualicum National Wildlife Area (NWA) is situated on a physiographic feature known as the Nanaimo Lowland. The Nanaimo Lowland is a strip of land below 600 meters that extends from Johnstone Strait in the north, to the Jordan River west of Victoria. It is flanked on the west by the Vancouver Island mountain range, and extends eastward under Georgia Strait. Bisecting the lowlands in numerous places are streams and rivers. Entry of these water courses into the sea has led to the development of the estuaries that are the focus of the Qualicum NWA. Millions of birds from North and South America and Asia occur annually in Georgia Strait in southwestern British Columbia. The mild, maritime climate and high year-round productivity and large bird populations make the area one of the most important migratory bird habitats in Canada.
Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) acquired three areas on the east coast of Vancouver Island, known collectively as the Qualicum NWA. These units are Rosewall Creek Unit (RCU), Marshall-Stevenson Unit (MSU), and Nanoose Bay Unit (NBU). MSU was donated in 1974 to preserve estuary and uplands while RCU and NBU were purchased to preserve the extant estuaries. NBU was purchased in 1976 by the predecessor of The Nature Trust, the National Second Century Fund, and leased to the Canadian Wildlife Service for 99 years, for wildlife management purposes. The RCU consists of four properties that were purchased between 1973 and 1979 that are yet to be gazetted as NWA. CWS manages these units as the Qualicum NWA to maintain and enhance its capacity to provide wintering and migration habitat for migratory birds. (Environment Canada website/April 2013)