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Diversity: Clayoquot Sound
The following paragraph describes Clayquot Sound, an area of old-growth forest on the western side of Vancouver Island. Several years ago Clayoquot Sound was the scene of confrontations between environmentalists and lumber company people, and the area remains a place of conflicting values and priorities.

Vertebrate species richness in the rain forest is exemplified by Clayoquot Sound. Including lakes and the nearshore environment, Clayoquot Sound encompasses about 350,000 hectares on the west coast of Vancouver Island and contains some of the largest undeveloped tracts of coastal temperate rain forest in the world. At least 304 terrestrial vertebrate species have been recorded in Clayoquot Sound (records of the Royal British Columbia Museum). In an area representing about 0.4 percent of the province, roughly 57 percent of the native terrestrial vertebrate species in the province breed or visit during migration or winter. This richness reflects not only the complex structure of coastal temperate rain forest but also the mild climate and abundant water bodies, including estuaries. Available records also document at least twenty marine mammals in the nearshore environment, including the northern elephant seal, gray whale, and harbor porpoise. (Bunnell, & Chan-McLeod, 1997, p. 108). "Granted with permission from The Rain Forests of Home, P.K. Schoonmaker, B. von Hagen, and E.C. Wolf, Ecotrust, 1997. Published by Island Press, Washington DC and Covelo, CA. For more information, contact Island Press directly at 1-800-828-1302, info@islandpress.org (E-mail), or www.islandpress.org (Website)."

You may want to browse through these images of Clayoquot Sound and read excerpts from a new book called Biodiversity in British Columbia: Our Changing Environment.

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