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Lambert Channel/Hornby Island Waters (BC061)


Lambert Channel/Hornby Island Waters (BC061)

Courtney, Colombie-Britannique

Latitude 49,538°N
Longitude 124,667°O
Altitude 0 - 10m
Superficie 131,66km²

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.

Lambert Channel is the body of water that separates Denman and Hornby Islands. These islands are located off the east coast of Vancouver Island in the central part of the Strait of Georgia. Within Lambert Channel, the IBA extends several kilometres along the entire northern shore of Denman Island (including the Seal Islets), and the northwestern, western, eastern and southern shores of Hornby Island. The shores of the channel are a mixture of gravel and rock, with the water currents in the channel being influenced by tides twice daily. The upland habitats adjacent to the channel are part of the dry Garry Oak/Douglas fir forests that are restricted in British Columbia to the Strait of Georgia. Hornby Island is forested with Douglas fir on the southeast peninsula, and has mostly rocky shores, culminating in a large rocky headland (St. Johns Point) at the tip of this peninsula. The waters within 2 km of the shores of Hornby Island are included in the IBA.


Birds concentrate in the Lambert Channel to take advantage of spawning herring, which are usually present during the first few weeks of March. Significant numbers of waterfowl, especially Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, and Long-tailed Duck, and significant numbers of waterbirds, especially Glaucous-winged Gull, Mew Gull and Thayer's Gull, are found at this time. As well, continentally important numbers of Black Brant occur during spring migration. Lambert Channel and the waters off of Hornby Island support significant concentrations of Harlequin Duck in more than one season. Aggregations of Harlequin Duck gather at a few locations on the northeast side of Hornby Island for 2-3 weeks during herring spawning. These aggregations can include 49-81% of the midwinter population of Harlequin Duck in the northern Strait of Georgia. An estimated 3400-5500 birds were present in 1996-2001. Aggregations occur in only a small fraction of the habitat area where spawn is available, indicating the importance of the site. During summer and early fall, the shores of Hornby Island are also a major roost site for moulting Harlequin Duck. The relative importance of the IBA to the other species listed in the table below is under review.

Enjeux de conservation

Lambert Channel and the waters surrounding Hornby Island have long been recognized as an important area for waterbirds and herring. Any activity that negatively impacts the herring spawn (e.g. reductions in water quality, foreshore development) could have significant impacts on the ability of this site to support a concentration of birds. Disturbance from increased recreational activities also poses a threat to bird populations using the area. The recent demand for expanded mariculture development will need to be monitored carefully for its impact on birds. There is limited protection in place, particularly for the marine waters; the most significant is the marine extension to Helliwell Provincial Park.

Catégories ZICO Habitats Usages Menaces Potencielles ou Existantes Status de Protection
Goéland arctique (thayeri)
Nombre Année Saison
200 - 2502017Hiver
110 - 2602016Hiver
136 - 4002016Printemps
80 - 7802015Hiver
150 - 2002015Automne
150 - 1 0002015Printemps
150 - 1 5002014Printemps
80 - 6002014Hiver
150 - 1952013Hiver
120 - 1602013Printemps
200 - 5002012Printemps
86 - 3592011Automne
200 - 5002010Printemps
98 - 1142010Hiver
105 - 3452009Automne
1 5012008Printemps
104 - 1202008Hiver
88 - 4 0002007Automne
300 - 2 0002007Printemps
150 - 2802006Printemps
100 - 2522006Hiver
152 - 4002003Printemps
300 - 1 2002003Hiver
100 - 1402000Printemps
Goéland à ailes grises
Nombre Année Saison
5 0002017Printemps
5 0002016Printemps
4 300 - 45 0002010Printemps
5 1762001Hiver
39 0001990Printemps
41 0001989Printemps
Grèbe élégant
Nombre Année Saison
6 3402005Hiver
2 0002003Printemps
Cormoran pélagique
Nombre Année Saison
2 0801990Printemps
Arlequin plongeur
Nombre Année Saison
1 0002007Printemps
1 0002005Printemps
4 2771999Autre
2 5001998Printemps
4 000 - 5 0001995Printemps
1 0001995Automne
Macreuse à front blanc
Nombre Année Saison
8 0002016Printemps
6 000 - 8 0002015Printemps
3 6122010Printemps
Tournepierre noir
Nombre Année Saison
1 0002002Automne
Goéland à bec court
Nombre Année Saison
5 0002017Printemps
2 8002007Printemps
2 9902001Printemps
4 6872001Hiver
Goéland de Heermann
Nombre Année Saison
Grand Héron
Nombre Année Saison
Oiseaux aquatiques
Nombre Année Saison
23 0702010Hiver
28 0001990Printemps
Bécasseau du ressac
Nombre Année Saison
Harelde kakawi
Nombre Année Saison
8 5001990Printemps
Goéland de Californie
Nombre Année Saison
5 0002016Printemps