Lasqueti Island ER #4 Purpose Statement
Ecological reserves are areas selected to preserve representative and special natural
ecosystems, plant and animal species, features and phenomena. The key role of ecological
reserves is to contribute to the maintenance of biological diversity and the protection of genetic
materials. All consumptive resource uses and the use of motorized vehicles are prohibited.
Research and educational activities may be carried out but only under permit.
The primary role of Lasqueti Island Ecological Reserve is to protect a shoreline forest of some
of the largest Rocky Mountain junipers in British Columbia, two rare plant communities, and two blue-listed rare plants. At least 15 plants considered rare in the province occur in the ecological reserve. Most of these species are limited in their range to the Coastal Douglas-fir zone, but are fairly common within the zone with good population sizes. In addition, numerous fauna species have been recorded with some of the most notable being the turkey vulture, bald eagle, osprey, great horned owl, pygmy owl, Townsend’s vole, river otter, Pacific tree frog, and northwestern garter snake.
The secondary role is to protect the natural environment representative of the dry southern
coastal forest. Due to its southerly exposure, sea level location and thin soils, the vegetation of
Lasqueti Island Ecological Reserve is representative of the very driest habitats within the dry
subzone of Coastal Douglas-fir forest. The ecological reserve has significant remnant value as
it contributes to the representation of the CDFmm biogeoclimatic subzone which has less than
2.5% of its area protected provincially. The Coastal Douglas Fir zone has a limited range and is
one of the most highly fragmented and impacted ecosystems in Canada as it is encompassed
entirely in an intensive urban and agricultural development area of the province.
Known Management Issue Response
Lack of knowledge of rare plants and cultural values
- Enhance knowledge of rare elements by conducting an ecological inventory.
- Undertake cultural inventory and traditional use study in conjunction with First Nations.
Impact of feral species such as sheep and
goats on the native ecosystem
- Work with local residents of Lasqueti Island to maintain the fence to exclude sheep and goats and to increase awareness of the special natural values of the reserve.
Impact of recreational use on the
- (kayakers camping with fires, removal of botanical products)
- Monitor recreational use and enforce Ecological Reserve Act.
- Ensure the ecological reserve boundaries are signed.
- Enhance relationship with Volunteer Warden and encourage a formal monitoring system.
Impact of fire on the ecosystem
- Develop a fire management plan.
– ecosection Contributes 5.4% to the overall protected areas representation of the under-represented Strait of Georgia Terrestrial Ecosection, which has only
5.35% protected provincially.
– biogeoclimatic subzone/variant Lasqueti Island Ecological Reserve is the eighth
largest contributor (3.1%) out of 73 small protected areas that contribute to the
representation of CDFmm. CDFmm has less than 2.5% protected in the province and is the smallest forest subzone in BC with intensive urban and agricultural pressures. The
contribution of Lasqueti Island Ecological Reserve to CDFmm is important given the
fragmented nature of this ecosystem and the limited opportunities available for its protection.
Outstanding specimens of Rocky Mountain junipers, plant communities, rare plants
- Red-listed plant community Douglas Fir — salal
and blue-listed plant community Douglas Fir — lodgepole pine — arbutus. Blue-listed plants:
- poison oak and giant chain fern which are rare in
BC and restricted to the lowland zone.
- Yellowlisted species of conservation concern (S3- S4):
- great horned owl,
- pygmy owl,
- bald eagle,
- Townsend’s vole,
- northwester garter snake.