IBA Jervis Inlet/McRae Islet
Powell River, British Columbia
Site Summary
BC027 Latitude
49.736° N
124.269° W
0 m
64.16 km²
native grassland, open sea, cliffs/rocky shores (inland)
Land Use:
Fisheries/aquaculture, Tourism/recreation
Potential or ongoing Threats:
Disturbance, Other decline in habitat quality, Other increased mortality
IBA Criteria: Nationally Significant: Congregatory Species
Conservation status:
Restricted access for IBA coordinators
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Site Description
Jervis Inlet enters Malaspina Strait in the Strait of Georgia north of the Sechelt Peninsula in southwestern British Columbia. The site is about 26 kilometres southeast of the town of Powell River. At the mouth of the inlet, on the northern side of Hardy and Nelson islands, and particularly around Scotch Fir Point, the waters are characterized by swift currents and tiderips. McRae Islet, which lies off McRae Cove, is situated 1.5 kilometres west-northwest of Scotch Fir Point, on the northern side of the entrance to Jervis Inlet. The islet is a granitic island with grasses growing in rock crevices where soil collects. The boundaries of the site include McRae Islet and the marine area in a five-kilometre radius around Scotch Fir Point.
The Jervis Inlet McRae Islet site is of national significance for breeding Glaucous-winged Gulls. In 1986, surveys showed that McRae Islet supported 262 pairs of this species, which is just over 1% of the Canadian population. Pelagic Cormorants, Pigeon Guillemots and American Black Oystercatchers also nest on McRae Islets, but in smaller, less significant numbers.

The marine waters in the vicinity of Scotch Fir Point are important feeding areas for marine birds, and this area seasonally supports a variety of birds in substantial numbers. Surveys of the narrow portion of the inlet east of Nelson Island, conducted during 1986 and 1987, showed that marine bird populations were highest from October to March, just as they are in the entire Strait of Georgia. Surf Scoters and Barrow's Goldeneyes were the two most numerous species. A one-day aerial survey in spring 1977 found concentrations of up to a thousand diving ducks, (primarily Surf Scoters), as well as at least 300 Western Grebes at the mouth of Jervis Islet around Scotch Fir Point.

IBA Criteria
SpeciesT | A | I Links Date Season Number G C N
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
The proliferation of aquaculture (fish and shellfish farms) is a problem due to its alteration of habitat used by the birds, and the direct effect of accidental drownings in nets and shooting of birds by farm operators. The nesting seabirds on McRae Islet are also susceptible to disturbance from recreational boaters.

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