Biodiversity Priorities

Islands Trust Conservancy is committed to protecting biodiversity on the islands. To do this, we’ve prioritized the protection of the following features:

Sensitive and Rare Ecosystems

Sensitive ecosystems are fragile and rare, supporting a high diversity of species.

Find sensitive ecosystem mapping for each island in the region at Islands Trust’s MapIT. More information about sensitive ecosystems is available on our website here.

The forests of our region are globally rare, making their protection one of our biodiversity priorities.

Juvenile Western Screech Owl

Healthy Forests

Healthy forests are vibrant, diverse ecological communities with trees of all ages and an abundant, diverse understory. Fallen “nurse logs” support the growth of young trees and “snags” (standing dead trees) provide habitat for wildlife.

Species and Ecosystems at Risk

The ecosystems of the Islands Trust Area are home to over 100 federally listed and over 300 provincially listed species at risk (B.C. Conservation Data Centre, 2017). Losing even one species can throw an entire ecosystem off balance, negatively affecting other species, including humans. At-risk species have a better chance of survival if we protect their homes.

Marine Shorelines and Nearshore Areas

The nearshore zone–where land meets water–includes some of the most bio-diverse areas in the islands. Beaches attract people more than any other natural area in the islands, but the habitats of the nearshore zone are especially sensitive to disturbance.

Species in this zone depend on precise physical and biological conditions, such as wave action or sunlight. Docks, seawalls, gardens and homes can all seriously damage nearshore area habitats.

Islets and small islands

Many islets and small islands are spared the threats common to larger islands.

With little human impact and fewer invasive species, islets and small islands support many at-risk species and rare plant communities. The isolated conditions found on small islands and islets also support colony-nesting birds.

Protecting islets and small islands is an important goal of conservation planning in the Islands Trust area.

Protected Area Size, Corridors & Connectivity

The location and landscape context of protected areas matter. Larger protected properties connecting to each other through natural corridors support more species and have lower extinction rates.

We can improve the value of small protected properties in the islands by creating natural buffers around them and creating corridors connecting them to other protected areas.

More Information

E. Contact our Ecosystems Protection Specialist