Warden Report , Race Rocks ER #97, Dec, 2012
On December 8, 2012 I visited the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve with the assistance of the seafront staff and the dive boat from Lester Pearson College. Eric was going out to do some repairs and to clean the underwater camera so I was able to hitch a ride. It’s often difficult to get out there in November because of the uncertainty of the weather. I have uploaded pictures from the trip and an account of my observations while on the island on the Race Rocks website log at http://www.racerocks.ca/wp/2012/12/08/er-97-wardens-report-dec-8-2012/
One of the management problems that we often experience at Race Rocks is what action to take when a seriously injured animal comes ashore. In the report, I have presented the rationale for our approach in the situation of this injured elephant seal which is currently hauled out at the docks on the island.
This reserve is unique in being the only one with a full-time resident eco-guardian. Lester Pearson College has funded this staff position since 1997. It is also the only reserve with two remote cameras to keep track of what is happening on the islands. There is also an underwater camera available. A Davis weather instrument provides continual output online.
The water column of the reserve is currently protected as a Rockfish conservation area. It is however still a Marine Protected Area Designate under the Oceans act, and that only includes the water column. This will probably only get sorted out when First Nations land claims are dealt with. I consider the role of BC Parks in retaining ownership and control of ecological reserves like this to be crucial for the protection of local ecological resources. See the letter from Friends of Ecological Reserves of Dec 5, 2012 about concerns for ERs absorbed into National Parks.