News Release


Lək̓ ʷəŋən, METULIYE/Victoria, British Columbia, September 18, 2020

The federal government is recognizing the importance of species at risk on the Gulf and Howe Sound islands. The islands in the Salish Sea, near the urban areas of Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo, are a hotspot for species diversity and have one of the highest densities of species at risk in Canada. To support efforts to protect species at risk on the Gulf and Howe Sound islands, Environment and Climate Change Canada is investing $597,000 in the launch of the Islands Trust Conservancy’s new Species at Risk Program.

The federal government, in collaboration with the provinces and territories, is implementing a pan-Canadian approach to transforming species at risk conservation in Canada. Priority places selected have significant biodiversity, concentrations of species at risk, and opportunities to advance conservation efforts.

The Gulf and Howe Sound islands fall into a zone identified as a priority under the pan-Canadian approach. The islands and mainland surrounding the Salish Sea are a hotspot for biodiversity, with more than 100 federally listed species at risk in the area.

A contribution agreement between Environment and Climate Change Canada and Islands Trust Conservancy will provide $597,000 over three years to support species at risk programs that will include:

  • Conducting surveys and monitoring
  • Restoring critical habitat
  • Providing outreach materials and events
  • Assisting landowners who wish to protect species at risk on their land
  • Engaging and working with First Nations

Islands Trust Conservancy currently manages habitat for over 25 known federal species at risk across its network of 106 protected areas. With this investment, Islands Trust Conservancy will broaden and increase conservation of species at risk in the Islands Trust Area.


“We are very pleased to support Islands Trust Conservancy in their work to conserve Garry oak and other rare ecosystems in southwest BC. We are contributing $597,000 over 3 years through the Canada Nature Fund towards this important project in the Gulf Islands. This priority place is home to over 100 species at risk plants and animals, including Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly, sharp-tailed snake, and yellow montane violet. By partnering with proactive local governments and organizations in priority places, we can achieve better outcomes for species at risk.”
– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada

“The Islands Trust Conservancy is excited to receive this investment from Environment and Climate Change Canada and provide ‘on the ground’ actions to protect critical habitat for species at risk. We look forward to working collaboratively with First Nations, islanders, and partners to this end.”
– Kate-Louise Stamford, Board Chair, Islands Trust Conservancy

Quick Facts

  • In British Columbia, there are more than 260 federally listed species at risk and more than 1,615 provincially listed species at risk.
  • Islands Trust Conservancy manages 106 protected areas, with over 1,300 ha as nature reserves and conservation covenants.
  • Islands Trust Conservancy protected areas are home to over 25 federally listed species at risk.
  • In 2018, federal, provincial, and territorial environment ministers agreed to the Pan-Canadian
    Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation in Canada
    . This approach shifts efforts from single species, to focusing on collaborative efforts to conserve multiple species and ecosystems.
  • The Government of Canada has made commitments to conserve 25 percent of Canada’s land and inland waters and 25 percent of Canada’s oceans by 2025, and is working toward 30 percent of each by 2030.

Informative links


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The Islands Trust Conservancy is the conservation land trust for over 450 islands of the Salish Sea and is a part of the Island Trust. Since 1990, the Islands Trust Conservancy has protected more than 1,300 hectares of island ecosystems. This success is thanks to the vision, support, and generosity of our donors and partners. Visit us online at



Kate-Louise Stamford, Chair

Islands Trust Conservancy Board

via Carla Funk, Communications and Fundraising Specialist



Kate Emmings, A/Manager

Islands Trust Conservancy


Page last updated: 18/09/20
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