Barred owls are among the 800 west cost species you will find on B.C.’s West Coast

App opens a window into Central Coast Biodiversity

The app identifies over 700 species in the Great Bear Rainforest

If you’re planning a trip to the Great Bear Rainforest, or any West Coast ecological zone, you will want to have a look at the Central Coast Biodiversity app.

Put together by University of Victoria biologist Brian Starzomski, grad student Chanda Brietzke, and alumna Kelly Fretwell, with help from the Hakai Institute, the app identifies over 700 species in the Great Bear Rainforest “to help deepen our appreciation of the biodiversity along BC’s central coast.”

It can be downloaded free from the apple AppStore for iPads or iPhones; or as an android app from Google Play.

Users can access photos and descriptions of 210 plants, 80 birds, 120 seaweeds, 190 marine invertebrates, and 20 mammals and reptiles.

The specific references come with photos, as well as information about identification, habitat and range, similar species, human uses and references.

“Whether on a beach or in the forest, anyone can use the app and hopefully identify the species they have found,” says Starzomski. “BC has the most species of any province in Canada and coastal BC in particular is amazing in this regard.”

Students, researchers and anyone interested in gaining advance knowledge of B.C.’s coastal forests can interact with the app “to find important and fascinating information, including a growing list of species at risk.”

You can also access the guide online at