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Location Canada, British Columbia
Central coordinates 128o 49.87' West  50o 48.05' North
IBA criteria A4ii, A4iii
Area 120,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 312m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada



Site description The Scott Islands are a group of five islands extending in a line westward from 10 to 46 km offshore of Cape Scott at the northwestern tip of Vancouver Island. The inner two islands, Cox and Lanz, are large forested islands, whereas the outer two, Triangle and Sartine, are completely treeless. Beresford, the smallest island, lies in the middle of the chain and exhibits transitional features.

Key Biodiversity The Scott Islands support the largest concentration of breeding seabirds in the eastern North Pacific south of Alaska, and are the most important breeding colonies for seabirds in British Columbia. Twelve species of seabirds breed in this group of islands, with virtually all the nesting occurring on Triangle, Sartine and Beresford Islands. Together these Islands support over two million breeding birds.

Three of the seabird species nesting on the islands occur in globally significant numbers (i.e., greater than 1% of their population). These species are: Cassin?s Auklet (as much as 55% of the global, and 73% of the national population); Rhinoceros Auklet (as much as 7% of the global, 9% of the continental, and 12% of the national population); and Tufted Puffin (2% of the global, and almost 90% of the Canadian population). Other species that are present in at least nationally significant numbers (i.e., greater than 1% of the national population) include: Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel (1.5% of the Canadian population), Leach?s Storm-Petrel (2.3% of the western Canada population), Pelagic Cormorant (just over 1% of the North American, and 17.5% of the Canadian population), Brandt?s Cormorant (40% of the Canadian population) Black Oystercatcher (almost 3% of the Canadian population), Glaucous-winged Gull (about 4% of the national population), Common Murre (as much as 95% of the western Canada population) and Pigeon Guillemot (6% of the national population).

Other species of seabirds nesting on the islands include Thick-billed Murre (the only known site in Canada where the Pacific population nests) and Horned Puffin (less than 25 pairs in British Columbia). The marine areas surrounding the islands are important feeding areas for the nesting seabirds as well as other marine birds such as Sooty Shearwaters. Large numbers of migrating and wintering seaducks such as White-winged Scoters also frequent the area, particularly in the vicinity of Cox and Lanz islands.

Triangle Island supports several pairs of Peregrine Falcons (ssp. pealei ) a species considered nationally vulnerable. Peregrine Falcons are also recorded at each of the other four islands in the group and Bald Eagles nest throughout.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Cassin's Auklet Ptychoramphus aleuticus breeding  1989  990,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Rhinoceros Auklet Cerorhinca monocerata breeding  1989  41,700 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Tufted Puffin Fratercula cirrhata breeding  1989  34,900 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  1989  500,000-999,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Anne Vallée (Triangle Island) Ecological Reserve 980 protected area contained by site 980  
Beresford Island Ecological Reserve 425 protected area contained by site 420  
Cape Scott Provincial Park 22,220 protected area overlaps with site 140  
Lanz and Cox Islands Provincial Park 5,556 protected area contained by site 5,500  
Sartine Island Ecological Reserve 1,091 protected area contained by site 1,100  
Scott Islands Park Provincial Park 336 protected area contained by site 9,200  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Temperate coniferous forest  -
Sea Open sea  -
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
not utilised -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Scott Island Group. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/12/2014

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