Lepas Bay Important Bird Area (IBA)

Posted May 15, 2014 | Categories : 93,Federal Stewardship,Marine Reserves,Rare Species,Reports |
IBA Lepas Bay Islet Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia
Site Summary
BC008 Latitude Longitude 54.175° N 133.041° W Elevation Size 0 m 0.39 km²

This page was accessed in may, 2014 at Site Description

This unnamed Islet lies about 150 m from shore near the head of Lepas Bay at the extreme northwest corner of Graham Island. The islet is small (about 0.8 ha) with a steep-sided rocky shore, and a lush covering of grasses and forbs under an open stand of wind-swept, stunted Sitka spruce. The burrow- nesting storm-petrels nest throughout this fragile habitat. At very low tides, the island is connected to the sandy beach of Lepas Bay.


Nationally significant numbers of nesting Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels occur on Lepis Bay Islet. During surveys completed in 1977 a total of 3,500 breeding pairs were estimated, which is about 2% of the national population. This island supports at least the 13th largest Fork-tailed Storm Petrel colony in British Columbia (about 40 colonies are known). The island is also a breeding site for Leach’s Storm-Petrels with the estimated number of 4,500 pairs approaching the 1% threshold for the western Canada population. In addition to supporting storm-petrels, the Islet also supports large numbers of Pigeon Guillemots (173 birds were estimated in 1986). This represents about 1.5% of the national population for this species. Small numbers of Cassin’s Auklets, Glaucous-winged Gulls and Black Oystercatchers are also found nesting here.

Complete Bird records for Lepas Bay Islet Click here to view Summary
Species Season Number Unit Date Reference
Black Oystercatcher BR *
Cassin’s Auklet BR *
Colonial Waterbirds/Seabirds BR 8,109 C P 1977 Rodway et al. 1994
Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel BR 3,500 N P 1977 Rodway et al. 1994
Glaucous-winged Gull BR *
Leach’s Storm-Petrel BR 4,500 P 1977 Rodway et al. 1994
Pigeon Guillemot BR 218 N I 1977 Rodway et al. 1994
Pigeon Guillemot BR 173 N I 1986
Note: species shown in bold indicate that their population level (as estimated by the maximum number) exceeds at least one of the IBA threshold (national, continental or global). The site may still not qualify for that level of IBA if the maximum number reflects an exceptional or historical occurence. * : date is only an approximation.
Conservation Issues

Potential oil spills, and the spread of introduced predators (raccoons and rats) from the adjacent shore are the primary threats to the site and the seabirds that nest there. The islet is also vulnerable to damage from human trampling.