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Location Canada, British Columbia
Central coordinates 126o 5.53' West  49o 10.28' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 40,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description Clayoquot Sound is located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, northwest of Barkley Sound. The town of Tofino lies at the southern end of the sound. Cleland Island, at the centre of the area, lies off the west coast of Vargas Island in the mouth of the sound. The site encompasses the marine area in a 10 km radius around Cleland Island. It includes inshore water exposed to open ocean conditions that contain numerous islets and rocky reefs, as well as channels partly bounded and protected by land. Cleland Island is a treeless, low-lying basalt island rising to ten meters in elevation. The higher central area is vegetated with shrubs such as salmonberry and wild rose surrounded by lush grasses and forbs. Eelgrass beds occur at Clayoquot Spit on Stubbs Island. Clouded Salamanders are found at this site and Northern Sea Lion haul out on the reefs.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Haematopus bachmani breeding  1986  54 breeding pairs  A4i  Not Recognised 
Marbled Murrelet Brachyramphus marmoratus non-breeding  1993  2,622 individuals  unknown  A1  Endangered 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Epper Passage Provincial Park 306 protected area overlaps with site 72  
Flores Island Provincial Park 7,113 protected area overlaps with site 1,500  
Gibson Marine Provincial Park 143 protected area overlaps with site 88  
Vargas Island Provincial Park 5,788 protected area contained by site 5,800  


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

Land use

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cleland Island and Southeast Clayoquot Sound. Downloaded from on 25/10/2014

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