Cleland Island Purpose Statement 2003

Posted March 15, 2003 | Categories : 1,BC Parks,Human Disturbance,Oil Spill Threat |


Purpose Statement

See the PDF from BC PARKS cleland_ps

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.

Cleland Island Ecological Reserve is closed to the public to protect nesting seabirds.

Primary Role

The primary role of Cleland Island Ecological Reserve is to protect the habitat of breeding

populations of numerous species of seabirds, many of which are rare and endangered. The

ecological reserve consists of a single low-lying bedrock island that is encompassed entirely in

Vargas Island Park, 14 kilometres west of Tofino off the west coast of Vancouver Island. This

small 7.7-hectare island has a great diversity of seabirds relative to its size. It has one of the

largest concentrations of Leach’s storm-petrels and oystercatchers, the largest puffin colony

south of Triangle Island, the largest colony of rhinoceros auklets off the west coast of Vancouver

Island, and is an important stop-over point for migrating shorebirds.

The island provides nesting sites for Leach’s storm petrel, fork-tailed storm petrel, tufted puffin,

rhinoceros auklet, Cassin’s auklet, pigeon guillemot, glaucous-winged gull, black oystercatcher,

and common murres. The beach logs provide habitat for the clouded salamander. The

intertidal zone is significant for oystercatchers and pigeon guillemot as they feed on

invertebrates found in great abundance there.

Secondary Role

The secondary role is for research and education. Canadian Wildlife Service regularly

undertakes seabird research on the island. Cleland Island Ecological Reserve provides an

opportunity to educate visitors to Clayoquot Sound on seabirds, seabird biology and the

ecological reserves program on an offsite basis.

Management Issues

Known Management Issue


Impact of recreation on natural values

(recreational use occurs adjacent to the

ecological reserve)

Monitor activity around the ecological reserve and

ensure seabirds are not being impacted.

Recruit a Volunteer Warden and encourage formal

monitoring system.

Work with ecotourism tour companies on appropriate

wildlife viewing etiquette and on general awareness of

the special values.

Work with appropriate agencies to ensure both marine

and air access are controlled, and that aircraft

movement over the island is limited.

Lack of public awareness Ensure there is appropriate signage about the

ecological reserve, especially its restricted access


Include information about the ecological reserve in

interpretive material on the parks in Clayoquot Sound.

Clearly mark boundaries of Vargas Island Park and

the ecological reserve on marine charts.

Lack of knowledge of cultural values Include in a cultural inventory and traditional use study

as part of Vargas Island