Scott Islands IBA
Scott Islands Group IBA supports 2,000,000 breeding seabirds-the largest concentration in the Canadian Pacific. While the 5 islands are provincially protected, the surrounding waters await federal designation as Canada's first Marine Wildlife Area.
The steep coastal cliffs and rocky wave-battered shores of the Scott Islands are home to almost half of BC’s breeding seabird population. Among those nesting here are hundreds of thousands of Cassin’s Auklets, thousands of Rhinoceros Auklets and Leach’s Storm-Petrels, and hundreds of Pelagic Cormorants and Pigeon Guillemots. The islands are also home to nesting Bald Eagles, and the marine waters are foraged by diverse non-resident species such as White-winged Scoters. The IBA supports one of world’s largest Steller Sea Lion rookeries, and the ocean teems with life from drifting microscopic plants to dazzling Humpback Whales.
While the Scott Islands themselves are provincially protected, the ocean where birds forage up to 100 km offshore remains at risk from shipping traffic, fishing activity, and potential oil spills. Although a moratorium on offshore drilling was declared in 1971, exploration leases are still held, and the threat of offshore petroleum development continues. Resulting oil spills could obliterate the seabird population. To prevent this disaster, Nature Canada will continue its campaign to push the federal government to finally protect the entire IBA—including its open seas—as Canada’s first Marine Wildlife Area.
Download more fact sheets about Canada’s IBAs or call 1-800-267-4088 ext. 241 to request one.