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Location Canada, British Columbia
Central coordinates 125o 18.66' West  48o 52.25' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 92,000 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description Barkley Sound is located on the exposed southwestern coastline of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The town of Ucluelet lies to the north side of the sound and the small village of Bamfield is in an inlet on the southern side. The sound is a prominent topographic feature that has low shores backed by rugged mountains, and is exposed to the open Pacific Ocean. A dominant feature of this site is the Broken Group Islands, a component of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, which consists of approximately 100 islands and rocks in the central part of the sound. The outermost islands of the sound are fully exposed to the force of the ocean, while in the lee of the outer islands and in the inner part of the sound, there are protected channels and quiet bays. Forests are dominated by Sitka Spruce, Western Hemlock, and Western Red Cedar. Rocky headlands broken by sand or gravel beaches make up most of the shoreline. Northern Sea Lions often frequent the reefs around the islets.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Surf Scoter Melanitta perspicillata passage  1989  52,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Western Grebe Aechmophorus occidentalis passage  1979  4,900 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Surfbird Calidris virgata passage  1985  4,500 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Marbled Murrelet Brachyramphus marmoratus non-breeding  1982  3,406 individuals  A1  Endangered 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  1989  50,000-99,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Baeria Rocks Ecological Reserve 56 protected area contained by site 140  
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve 51,474 protected area overlaps with site 3,600  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Barkley Sound. Downloaded from on 29/08/2014

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