About the Islands

An archipelago of more than 450 islands and islets lie sheltered between British Columbia's mainland and southern Vancouver Island.  Known as Canada's Salish Sea, the region's calm waters and gentle climate provide sanctuary to a rich diversity of wildlife.  Visitors to the area are greeted with some of the most beautiful landscapes in B.C., from dry rocky headlands bursting with wildflowers to mountain slopes softened by lush forests.
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Last Stronghold

The ecosystems of the islands are among the most critically imperiled in B.C.  More than 100 species-at-risk are found here.  The islands are within the Coastal Douglas-fir zone, which is found on less than 1% of the land base of British Columbia and is one of the smallest of the province's
fourteen ecological zones.  Though small, it's of big importance in B.C., supporting a collection of plants and animals unique to the province, including woodlands of arbutus and Garry oak meadows.

For more information about the Coastal Douglas-fir zone, visit the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations website.  For more information about biodiversity in B.C., visit Biodiversity BC , an initiative of the provincial government.

Under Pressure

People are drawn from all over the world to enjoy the mild climate and striking beauty of the islands.  With growing real estate demands and a strong tourism economy, there is tremendous pressure to develop and change the natural landscapes here.

As of 2010, 11% of the islands' land base had been converted for human development, resulting in an irreversible loss of natural ecosystems and displacement of native species.  A further 5% had been altered by agriculture, and more than 70% of the islands forests modified by logging in the last 80 years.  Despite this, many islands in the region still hold intact natural spaces that support an astounding amount of biodiversity.  With careful planning and conservation, we can maintain the beauty and diversity of these special islands.

More information about the Islands

Islands Trust
Super, Natural British Columbia: Gulf Islands, Bowen Island

Many of the islands' Chambers of Commerce provides useful information for visitors to the islands.  Links to the various Chambers of Commerce operating in and around the Islands Trust Area can be found at the Better Business Bureau.


Page last updated: 13/10/16
Copyright © The Island Trust Conservancy.     The Islands Trust Conservancy is a qualified donee under the Income Tax Act. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.