Widgeon Valley National Wildlife Area

Feature Type: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.
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Just N of Widgeon Slough at outlet of Pitt Lake into Pitt River, N of Port Coquitlam (municipality), New Westminster Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 49°22'10''N, 122°38'00''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 92G/7

Origin Notes and History:

Widgeon Valley National Wildlife Area and the approved French form of the name, Réserve nationale de faune de la Vallée-Widgeon, 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

Widgeon Valley National Wildlife Area (NWA) is 125 ha in size and located near Pitt Lake, 65 km east of Vancouver. The Lower Fraser Valley in British Columbia has fertile bottom lands from the deposition of sediments. In addition, the area has high year-round, biological productivity caused by the mild, humid maritime climate. As a result the valley is highly attractive to wildlife and more recently very attractive for human recreational pursuits. The property of the Widgeon Valley NWA was purchased by the Nature Trust of British Columbia in 1973 and declared a NWA in October of that year. Four major habitat types have been identified on the Widgeon Valley NWA: the central lowland; the western upland; the stream banks; and the riverine marsh/bog. The central lowland area has a dense stand of Hardhack with accompanying grasses, forbs, rushes, reed grass and skunk cabbage. The western upland includes deciduous trees, such as Red Alder, willows, maples, and conifers, such as Western Red Cedar, Western Hemlock, Sitka Spruce and Douglas fir. The stream banks support an upper story of Red Alder, Pacific Crabapple and Northern Black Cottonwood. The outer edges of the marsh/bog habitat contain Shore Pine, Labrador Tea, Blueberry, Cranberry, Swamp-laurel, Marestail, Creeping Spearwort, mosses, lichens and horsetail. The NWA is important for its wetlands that benefit migrating waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife, fish and plant species, its wetland complex being at proximity to other adjacent and nearby areas of high wetland value such as Widgeon Slough and Addington Point along the Pitt River, the shallow southern end of Pitt Lake, and the extensive dyked wet areas of the Pitt Meadows. As such, the NWA plays a significant role as a staging and wintering area for migrating birds of the Pacific Flyway. In general, the NWA is known to be important to Canadian Geese, Mallard, Wood duck, and Cinnamon Teal. Pie-billed Grebes also frequent the area, and Black Scoters are seasonally abundant. Pintails, Greater Scaups, Common Goldeneyes, and Bufflehead are known to overwinter in the area, as are Dunlins, Horned Grebes, and Western Grebes. Other common winter residents include the Varied Thrush, Rub-crowned Kinglet, and Fox Sparrow. A wide variety of other birds and mammals are also native to the area including resident raptors like Red-tailed Hawk and Sceech Owls, rodents such as American Beaver and Townsend¿s Mole, as well as numerous carnivores including the river otter, mountain lion and bobcat. (Environment Canada website/April 2013)

Source: included with note