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Comox Valley (BC014)

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Comox Valley (BC014)

Courtenay, Colombie-Britannique

Latitude 49,725°N
Longitude 125,006°O
Altitude 0 - 200m
Superficie 302,15km²

Description du site

Comox Valley IBA, Baynes Sound IBA and Lambert Channel/Hornby Island Waters IBA share common populations of waterbirds but were established as separate IBAs because they were nominated independently. In 2013, these sites were amalgamated into the K'omoks IBA; follow this link for current information for this area.

The Comox Valley lies along the east-central coast of Vancouver Island, near the town of Courtenay. The site is bounded to the north by the Oyster River, to the south by the Trent River and Comox Harbour, to the west by the Beaufort Mountains, and to the east by the Strait of Georgia. The estuaries, backshore areas and associated lowland valley bottoms provide an extensive network of habitats. Inland valley lowlands are a mixture of agricultural areas and forested land. Low elevation forests are dominated by Douglas Fir and Western Hemlock forests. Within the valley are three urban centres, as well as a 10,000 hectare estuary. The valley has a relatively mild climate, with winter temperatures above freezing point, but generally less than 10°C on average.

Oiseaux

The Comox Valley is noteworthy for the numbers of Pacific Trumpeter Swans that over-winter there. Based on regular surveys, the numbers of swans increased to the mid-1990s and seem to have stabilized at an over-wintering (February) population of about 2100 birds, although peak counts are over 2900 birds. Peak numbers represent over 12% of the world population of Trumpeter Swans, and over 16% of the Pacific population of this species. The swans arrive in late October and are mostly gone by early April. They feed on discarded vegetables or corn cobs, green forage between harvested corn, and seedlings of various winter cover crops, as well as native vegetation. Waterfowl numbers reach continentally significant levels in winter. Congregations are composed of many species, most notably American Wigeon, Mallard, Northern Pintail, and Black, Surf and White-winged Scoter. Western Grebe occurred at globally significant levels most years from 1975 to 1997, but has decreased in numbers since then (numbers yet to be updated in table below). The valley and estuary are also important feeding areas for migrating Black Brant, Great Blue Heron (fannini subspecies), Glaucous-winged Gull, and Thayer's Gull (numbers yet to be updated in table below). The relative importance of the IBA to the other species listed in the table below is under review.

Enjeux de conservation

The population of the Comox Valley has doubled over the past 20 years. Development comes with associated threats, including runoff from sewage and suburban storm sewers, wetlands filled in, new housing developments, and disturbance from increased recreational activities. From 1992 to 2002, at least 5% of the sensitive ecosystems were lost and over 29% of modified ecosystems such as older second growth forests and seasonally flooded agricultural fields disappeared.

Catégories ZICO Habitats Usages Menaces Potencielles ou Existantes Status de Protection
Goéland arctique (thayeri)
Nombre Année Saison
2202016Automne
100 - 3002016Hiver
109 - 1502015Hiver
100 - 2602015Printemps
105 - 1772014Hiver
90 - 1402014Automne
98 - 2 0002014Printemps
2192013Hiver
200 - 3002013Automne
300 - 8002013Printemps
328 - 6702012Hiver
802012Automne
4602012Printemps
129 - 2002011Hiver
150 - 1552011Automne
1002011Printemps
123 - 1702010Hiver
1502010Automne
1222009Hiver
782008Hiver
792007Hiver
150 - 2542006Hiver
1012005Hiver
110 - 3812004Hiver
1402004Printemps
78 - 5002003Hiver
2102002Automne
1102001Automne
972001Printemps
2602001Hiver
249 - 4962000Hiver
4961999Hiver
1181998Hiver
941995Hiver
Cygne trompette
Nombre Année Saison
284 - 4302017Hiver
320 - 4502016Hiver
290 - 5782015Hiver
333 - 1 0912014Hiver
315 - 1 4652013Hiver
3002013Printemps
340 - 1 0402012Hiver
4002012Automne
268 - 1 5392011Hiver
310 - 1 3952010Hiver
360 - 6502010Automne
300 - 1 2162009Hiver
289 - 2 9062008Hiver
1 7962006Hiver
481 - 1 4242005Hiver
461 - 2 9392004Hiver
910 - 2 9392003Hiver
400 - 1 1952002Hiver
400 - 1 5602001Hiver
270 - 1 9042000Hiver
1 2791999Hiver
315 - 1 2211998Hiver
1 4941997Hiver
1 011 - 2 1001995Hiver
8021994Hiver
7421993Hiver
1 0981992Hiver
4151991Hiver
7151990Hiver
Goéland à ailes grises
Nombre Année Saison
5 000 - 32 0002014Printemps
5 000 - 8 0002013Printemps
4 6972012Hiver
4 3632010Hiver
5 000 - 8 0002010Automne
4 3102005Hiver
6 914 - 9 2442004Hiver
9 2442003Hiver
6 866 - 8 5972002Hiver
8 5972001Hiver
5 6852000Hiver
6 3101997Hiver
7 5251995Hiver
4 5561994Hiver
4 4981991Hiver
Grèbe élégant
Nombre Année Saison
1 1202010Automne
4192007Hiver
1 0002003Automne
2 1221997Hiver
1 5161994Hiver
3 0811991Hiver
4 7001985Hiver
Macreuse à front blanc
Nombre Année Saison
5 9662014Hiver
11 0002014Printemps
Guillemot marbré
Nombre Année Saison
5102016Printemps
Goéland cendré
Nombre Année Saison
2 5002016Printemps
2 500 - 4 0002013Printemps
2 5002003Printemps
Grand Héron
Nombre Année Saison
37 - 552016Été
532015Hiver
442014Hiver
412009Hiver
112009Automne
442006Hiver
602005Hiver
552004Hiver
562003Hiver
392002Hiver
39 - 902001Hiver
442001Automne
611999Hiver
611998Hiver
561997Hiver
431995Hiver
341994Hiver
531993Hiver
861992Hiver
1061991Hiver
691990Hiver
Oiseaux aquatiques
Nombre Année Saison
19 2012004Hiver
10 0001995Hiver
Plongeon du Pacifique
Nombre Année Saison
7 0002018Hiver