The grasslands of BC are as unique, varied and beautiful as the province itself. Click the links below the map to explore and learn about the eight unique grassland regions of BC.
Some Grassland Facts
- occur where temperature, precipitation and physical factors such as soils, south-facing aspect or steep slopes combine to create conditions that are too dry for trees
- cover only 0.74 million hectares (less than 1%) of the province and
- 90% of the area is in the hot, dry valleys south of 52ºN latitude.
- have adapted to these difficult conditions
- many bloom early in the spring and complete their life cycle before the summer heat
- have large, deep root systems to reach down for moisture in the soil.
- bluebunch wheatgrass is characteristic and found as far north as the upper Chilcotin Plateau.
- varied and complex, supporting a wide variety of plants and animals
- wetlands, riparian areas and aspen copses are rich habitats for amphibians, songbirds, grouse
- gullies, cliffs and rocky areas are home to bats, reptiles, bighorn sheep
- open forest and forest patches provide winter shelter for white-tailed and mule deer.
For more information on BC's ecosystem classification systems, visit the links below.
Ecoregion Classification System - identifies small scale ecosystems with division of the province into Ecoprovinces.
Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification system - (BEC system) uses ecosystems as a basis for different zones.
Quick Guide to the EcoRegions of British Columbia - a quick tour of provincal classifications.
Chart of Major Grassland Ecosystems - described in The Grasslands of British Columbia
The BC Grasslands Mapping Project and the Priority Grasslands Initiative made it possible for the GCC to map the eight different regions of grasslands that make up the geography of British Columbia. Please see the links below for more information.