Hudson Rocks Purpose Statement

Posted August 30, 2003 | Categories : 137,Management,Marine Reserves,Reports |

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. Research and education activities may be carried out but only under permit.

See the complete PDF FILE: hudson_ps

Primary Role
The primary role of Hudson Rocks Ecological Reserve is to protect seabird breeding habitat.
This 50-hectare ecological reserve is located just off the coast of Nanaimo. It comprises four rockyisletstotalling2.5hectaresinsizeand47hectaresofmarineforeshore. HudsonRocks and its foreshore is an important breeding and feeding ground for glaucous-winged gulls, pelagic cormorants, black oystercatchers, and pigeon guillemots. Common murres, ducks and many kinds of gulls feed around these rocks as well. The rocks historically served as a double- crested cormorant nesting site, but they were last observed nesting here in 1995. The site was originally proposed as an ecological reserve to protect a nationally significant breeding population of pelagic cormorants, but the population has since declined to three nests observed in 2000. Both species of cormorants have had a severe drop in population in the last decade and it is hoped that by preserving this habitat they will nest here again.
The ecological reserve also preserves intertidal and nearshore subtidal habitat typical of the Strait of Georgia Marine Ecosection. These waters provide habitat for a wide variety of marine life such as finfish, salmon, herring spawn, harbour porpoises, and harbour seals (which use the rocks as haul-out sites).


Management Issues

Known Management Issue


Lack of public awareness of ecological reserve; no signage

Install appropriate signs in key locations informing the public about ecological reserve status, vulnerability of the birds and restrictions on landings.

Expansion of ecological reserve to include foreshore and the cormorant nesting sites on Five Fingers Island and Snake Island

Continue to liaise with other government agencies, First Nations and stakeholders to secure foreshore and smaller islands to protect ecological values.

Potential impact from ferry wash

 Monitor for effect of ferry wash and work with BC Ferries to reduce impacts.

Commercial harvesting of marine species within the ecological reserve; sports fishing next to ecological reserve during nesting season.

Increasing recreational use and impacts to ecological reserve values.

  •   Work with the ecological reserve warden and Canadian Wildlife Service to monitor effect of sports fishing activity on birds.
  •  Work with Fisheries and Oceans Canada on fishery closures or other mitigation measures during bird breeding season.
  •  Work with the Canadian Hydrographic Service to provide information on the limited access to islands on marine charts.
  •  Close the ecological reserve to access except by permit.