Cleland Island Purpose Statement 2003
CLELAND ISLAND ECOLOGICAL RESERVE
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.
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.
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.
Known Management Issue
Impact of recreation on natural values
(recreational use occurs adjacent to the
Monitor activity around the ecological reserve and
ensure seabirds are not being impacted.
Recruit a Volunteer Warden and encourage formal
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