IBA Lepas Bay Islet
Haida Gwaii, British Columbia
Site Summary
BC008 Latitude
Longitude
54.175° N
133.041° W
Elevation
Size
0 m
0.39 km²
Habitats:
coniferous forest (temperate)
Land Use:
Potential or ongoing Threats:
Introduced species, Oil slicks
IBA Criteria: Continentally Significant: Colonial Waterbird/Seabird Concentrations, Nationally Significant: Congregatory Species
Conservation status: Ecological Reserve (provincial)
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Site Description
This unnamed Islet lies about 150 m from shore near the head of Lepas Bay at the extreme northwest corner of Graham Island. The islet is small (about 0.8 ha) with a steep-sided rocky shore, and a lush covering of grasses and forbs under an open stand of wind-swept, stunted Sitka spruce. The burrow- nesting storm-petrels nest throughout this fragile habitat. At very low tides, the island is connected to the sandy beach of Lepas Bay.

Birds
Nationally significant numbers of nesting Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels occur on Lepas Bay Islet. During surveys completed in 1977 a total of 3,500 breeding pairs were estimated, which is about 2% of the national population. This island supports at least the 13th largest Fork-tailed Storm Petrel colony in British Columbia (about 40 colonies are known). The island is also a breeding site for Leach's Storm-Petrels with the estimated number of 4,500 pairs approaching the 1% threshold for the western Canada population. In addition to supporting storm-petrels, the Islet also supports large numbers of Pigeon Guillemots (173 birds were estimated in 1986). This represents about 1.5% of the national population for this species. Small numbers of Cassin's Auklets, Glaucous-winged Gulls and Black Oystercatchers are also found nesting here.



IBA Criteria
SpeciesT | A | I Number Year Month Day Season A4i/ii B4i/ii/iii A1 B1 C1 Reference
Note: species shown in bold indicate that the maximum number exceeds at least one of the IBA thresholds (sub-regional, regional or global). The site may still not qualify for that level of IBA if the maximum number reflects an exceptional or historical occurrence.
 
Conservation Issues
Potential oil spills, and the spread of introduced predators (raccoons and rats) from the adjacent shore are the primary threats to the site and the seabirds that nest there. The islet is also vulnerable to damage from human trampling.

The IBA Program is an international conservation initiative coordinated by BirdLife International. The Canadian co-partners for the IBA Program are Birds Canada and Nature Canada.
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