Warden Report , Race Rocks ER #97, Dec, 2012

Posted December 8, 2012 | Categories : 97,Management,Marine Reserves,Warden Reports |

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

Injured female elephant seal at Race Rocks

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.

Garry Fletcher
December, 2012
Metchosin, BC.