The Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is situated in the coastal temperate rainforest on the west coast of Canada. A diverse range of ecosystems exist within the Reserve boundaries; these ecosystems include ancient temperate rainforest, large and small lakes, rivers and streams, alpine peaks, open ocean, rocky coastal shores, long sand beaches, estuaries and mud flats.
With the continued development in temperate rainforests worldwide, these areas are of increased global ecological significance. Some watersheds in the Reserve have been extensively logged in the past fifty years and others have been subject to human activity. The Reserve includes five small coastal communities, with several other communities bordering the reserve.
The marine and terrestrial components of the Biosphere Reserve provide habitat for many species, a significant number of which are endangered or rare. Clayoquot Sound provides vital feeding, breeding and staging habitat for resident, migrating and transient populations of birds, marine mammals, fish, terrestrial mammals and other species. Development in Clayoquot Sound sometimes results in the fragmentation of forest and alpine ecosystems and the loss of biological diversity in coastal rainforests. The core areas of the Biosphere Reserve are a refuge for the natural dispersion and re-establishment of species.