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White Islets and Wilson Creek (BC025)

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White Islets and Wilson Creek (BC025)

Wilson Creek, British Columbia

Latitude 49.418°N
Longitude 123.712°W
Altitude 0m
Area 29.38km²

Site Description

Wilson Creek empties into the Strait of Georgia approximately 6 km southeast of the town of Sechelt, on the Sechelt Peninsula, British Columbia. The White Islets are 2 km offshore from Wilson Creek. The site is centred on the White Islets, and encompasses the marine waters in an approximate 2 km radius around the islets, and the nearby shoreline on both sides of Wilson Creek. The White Islets are small rocky islets with patches of grass growing in rock crevices and the shoreline of Wilson Creek is composed of sand and gravel.

Birds

This site contains globally significant numbers of Surfbird, and nationally significant numbers of both Glaucous-winged Gull and the nationally threatened Marbled Murrelet. In winter and on spring migration, large concentrations of Surfbirds frequent the shoreline of Wilson Creek. In April 1987, 1,000 Surfbirds were recorded near Wilson Creek, which is over 1% of this species global population.

During 1986 and 1987, 490 breeding pairs of Glaucous-winged Gulls (2% of national population) were recorded on the White Islets. In February 1993, 441 Marbled Murrelets were observed in the waters surrounding White Islets, which is almost 1% of the Canadian population of Marbled Murrelets.

Pelagic Cormorants also nest on the site, and the sub-tidal areas around the islets are feeding areas for sea ducks. Surf Scoters have been recorded in flocks of more than 600 birds and Harlequin Ducks often frequent the area. The sheltered areas of southern Vancouver Island and the Strait of Georgia are preferred wintering areas for Black Turnstones and several other shorebird species.

Conservation Issues

Oil pollution, and boating disturbance are potential threats to the area. There is heavy recreational boat traffic along the Sechelt Peninsula in summer, which could be a source of disturbance to flocks of seabirds and other birds.

IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status
Surfbird
Number Year Season
6502017Fall
650 - 7302017Spring
720 - 9502016Spring
550 - 6102015Spring
590 - 1,0002014Fall
5542001Spring
1,0001987Spring
Black Oystercatcher
Number Year Season
80 - 1032017Fall
76 - 1202016Fall
772014Fall
Surf Scoter
Number Year Season
6,5002013Spring
7,1312000Spring
6001985Other
Marbled Murrelet
Number Year Season
4411993Winter
4501992Fall
Mew Gull
Number Year Season
2,400 - 3,7002014Spring
Ancient Murrelet
Number Year Season
6,2002017Winter
Sage Thrasher
Number Year Season
12001Spring
Black Turnstone
Number Year Season
7782002Winter