Ballingall Islets ER #151 Purpose Statement 2003
BALLINGALL ISLETS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE Purpose Statement
Ecological reserves are areas selected to preserve representative and special natural ecosystems, plant and animal species, features and phenomena. The key goal 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. Landing on Ballingall Islets Ecological Reserve is restricted by permit to protect the sensitive ecosystem. Research and educational activities may be carried out but only under permit.
The primary role of Ballinga ll Islets Ecological Reserve is to protect seabird nesting habitat. Established in 1963, this small rocky archipelago in Trincomali Channel, off the west coast of GalianoIsland,totalslessthanonehectareofland. Itwasoriginallydesignatedasanature park to protect colonies of double-crested and pelagic cormorants as well as seagulls, but now it has become a historic nesting site for both these species. At the time of designation, 28 nests of double-crested cormorants and 11 nests of pelagic cormorants were observed. Nesting failures, due in part to human disturbance, have cause a severe decline in cormorant populations in the Strait of Georgia and both species of cormorants were last observed at Ballingall Islets in 1987. Double-crested cormorants traditionally nested in the dead gnarled juniper trees that cling to the islets. It is hoped that by preserving and possibly enhancing this habitat, they will nest here once again.
Ballingall Islets Ecological Reserve is also important for actively nesting gulls and pigeon guillemots.
Known Management Issue
Disruption of birds by increased visitation by kayakers and boaters for wildlife viewing
Lack of protection of foreshore
Add foreshore to the ecological reserve to enhance protection of upland values and the marine environment. Consult with First Nations.
Removal of nesting trees from ecological reserve
Historic cormorant nesting site and habitat for other breeding seabirds
Historic nesting site for the blue-listed double- crested cormorant (25 nests last observed in 1987). Historic nesting site for the yellow-listed (S3-S4 conservation concern category) pelagic cormorant (2 nests last observed in 1987).
Seabird research opportunities, recovery strategies for cormorants
Ecological reserves are not meant for outdoor recreation; however, some kayaking, boating and wildlife viewing occurs. Management will work with groups to address potential impacts.
Human visitation, including from adjacent provincial marine park (Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park ), marine contamination, lack of options for nesting sites when roosting trees blow down in storms