IBA White Islets and Wilson Creek
Wilson Creek, British Columbia
Site Summary
BC025 Latitude
49.418° N
123.712° W
0 m
29.38 km²
rivers/streams, open sea, inlets/coastal features (marine), cliffs/rocky shores (inland)
Land Use:
Potential or ongoing Threats:
Oil slicks, Recreation/tourism
IBA Criteria: Globally Significant: Congregatory Species, Nationally Significant: Threatened Species, Congregatory Species
Conservation status:
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Site Description
Wilson Creek empties into the Strait of Georgia approximately 6 km southeast of the town of Sechelt, on the Sechelt Peninsula, British Columbia. The White Islets are 2 km offshore from Wilson Creek. The site is centred on the White Islets, and encompasses the marine waters in an approximate 2 km radius around the islets, and the nearby shoreline on both sides of Wilson Creek. The White Islets are small rocky islets with patches of grass growing in rock crevices and the shoreline of Wilson Creek is composed of sand and gravel.
This site contains globally significant numbers of Surfbird, and nationally significant numbers of both Glaucous-winged Gull and the nationally threatened Marbled Murrelet. In winter and on spring migration, large concentrations of Surfbirds frequent the shoreline of Wilson Creek. In April 1987, 1,000 Surfbirds were recorded near Wilson Creek, which is over 1% of this species global population.

During 1986 and 1987, 490 breeding pairs of Glaucous-winged Gulls (2% of national population) were recorded on the White Islets. In February 1993, 441 Marbled Murrelets were observed in the waters surrounding White Islets, which is almost 1% of the Canadian population of Marbled Murrelets.

Pelagic Cormorants also nest on the site, and the sub-tidal areas around the islets are feeding areas for sea ducks. Surf Scoters have been recorded in flocks of more than 600 birds and Harlequin Ducks often frequent the area. The sheltered areas of southern Vancouver Island and the Strait of Georgia are preferred wintering areas for Black Turnstones and several other shorebird species.

IBA Criteria
SpeciesT | A | I Links Date Season Number G C N
Ancient Murrelet 2017 WI 6,200
Black Oystercatcher 2014 - 2020 FA 76 - 211
Black Turnstone 2002 WI 778
Bonaparte's Gull 2018 FA 3,500
Marbled Murrelet 1992 FA 450
Marbled Murrelet 1993 WI 441
Sage Thrasher 2001 SP 1
Short-billed Gull 2018 FA 3,000
Short-billed Gull 2014 SP 2,400 - 3,700
Surf Scoter 2000 - 2013 SP 6,500 - 7,131
Surfbird 2014 - 2017 FA 590 - 1,000
Surfbird 1987 - 2020 SP 550 - 1,000
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
Oil pollution, and boating disturbance are potential threats to the area. There is heavy recreational boat traffic along the Sechelt Peninsula in summer, which could be a source of disturbance to flocks of seabirds and other birds.

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.
   © Birds Canada