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Tofino Wildlife

Tofino Marine Wildlife

The weekend of March 15th marked the beginning of Tofino’s annual Pacific Rim Whale Festival, a celebration of the arrival of tens of thousands of migrating grey whales en route from the Baja Paninsula to their breeding grounds in the Bering Strait.

Sightings of Grey, Humpback, and Orca Whales are a common occurrence in the waters around Tofino, especially in spring, summer and autumn. Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Harbour Porpoises, Sea Otters, Seals, and Sea Lions are also frequently seen at sea and often from shore! Tofino visitors on whale watching excursions may also observe sea life less frequently observed in BC coastal waters, such as Minke Whales and Pilot Whales as well as Ocean Sunfish or Mola mola.

Whales in Tofino breaching   A tofitian black bear

Tofino Wildlife on land

Not to be outdone, Tofino’s coastal temperate rainforest, immense beaches, and rocky intertidal zones offer as much potential for spectacular wildlife sightings as the marine environment. Although some animals commonly seen in the forests around Tofino are best observed from the safety of a boat (such as Black Bears), easy hikes down the beach and along the rocky shoreline have amazing potential for wildlife encounters. Tofino’s annual Shorebird Festival runs the weekend of May 3-5 and showcases the incredible birds common to Tofino beaches including migratory species such as Tufted Puffins, Sandpipers, Plovers, and Whimbrels, as well as year-round residents such as Black Oystercatchers and Bald Eagles. Although sightings are not common, Leatherback, Green, and Olive Ridley Sea Turtles have also been found on Tofino beaches.

Guests of The Long Beach Lodge Resort are seconds from spectacular beach walks, tidal pool exploration, and rainforest hikes. Or Tofino visitors can hop aboard the Long Beach Lodge’s new boat for a marine wilderness-viewing and photography excursion like no other.