Animals of YVR

Vancouver International Airport is a place full of people and planes and bags, but did you know about all the animals here? We have service dogs and working raptors but because YVR is located on Sea Island, we also are the home to lots of wildlife. So today, we thought we’d talk about the animals of YVR.

Remarkable Raptors

Bald eagle

At YVR, our wildlife team works with raptors to help keep the feathered birds away from our metal birds. While YVR also employs other techniques to move flocks of birds, such as pyrotechnics and lights, the sight of a predator keeps them away for much longer. This ensures the safety of our passengers and our little bird friends.

Here’s Horatio

Horatio laying beside a table

Most people have heard of our Less Airport Stress Initiative and our airport therapy dogs - can you say #BIGNORM? But there’s one dog in our office that just loves to find food, sprint around the office and lay on his back in the middle of the office cubicle walkways. May I present, Horatio. He is the guide dog of one of our employees. If you ever see him with this owner in the terminal, remember, you can only say hello if he isn’t working. A harness on means he is working to keep his owner safe, and that goes for all working dogs. If in doubt, always ask first.

LASI Airport Therapy Dogs

Bailey the therapy dog

Speaking of LASI, these dogs have really stolen the show at YVR since the summer. In partnership with St. John Ambulance, we have airport therapy dogs in the terminal Monday to Friday from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Molly, Bailey, Mira, Norman, Grover and Soda are here to help our passengers manage anxiety associated with travelling, work and general stress. These YVR Ambassador Dogs are specifically trained to be interacted with! The next time you are travelling through YVR, say hello to our friends.

Puppy Patrol

Flight the Dog

Puppy cuddles are just the best, but unlike our LASI airport therapy dogs, these border collies have the same job of our raptor friends. These dogs work really hard to patrol the airfield to keep birds away from the aircraft. Watch our video about our puppy patrol here.

Aquarium Ahead

People admiring the aquarium

Located in our International Terminal is a 114,000-litre aquarium that is home to over 5,000 creatures including wolf eels, anemones, sea stars, kelp greenlings and sea urchins. The aquarium was added to YVR in 2007 as part of the International Terminal expansion to showcase the beauty of B.C.’s underwater ecosystems.

Jumping Jellyfish

Three Jellyfish

So they don’t actually jump, but we like the alliteration. YVR is home to an 1,800-litre jellyfish aquarium. The exhibit features Pacific sea nettle jellies that are reared at the Vancouver Aquarium by its resident jelly expert. Next time you arrive at YVR, take a look and see how many jellyfish you can count - hint, there are 12).

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow sits on top of a sign that reads Button 26R Road

These little birdies can sometimes find their way into the terminal. They especially love hanging out in the Graham Clarke Atrium where they can get some sun without having to brave the elements. I guess the sparrows love the air conditioning in the summer too!


Aerial view of YVR

Sea Island, located in the Fraser River Estuary, is not only home to YVR but salmon too. Just last year, YVR became the first airport in North America to achieve Salmon-Safe certification. We are proud of this certification because it acknowledges YVR’s ongoing efforts and commitment to transform its land and water management practices, to protect Fraser River water quality and enhance the habitat so Pacific salmon continue to thrive.