Trincomali Nature Sanctuary


Trincomali Nature Sanctuary begins at the water's edge with high coastal bluffs towering over Trincomali Channel.  The 12 hectare sanctuary continues on to protect a second-growth coastal Douglas-fir forest at the top of the bluffs, protecting veteran old growth giants that were spared from past logging activity.  The sanctuary as also provides a natural green buffer to a wetland on an adjoining property.

Trincomali's cliffs are a sanctuary to nesting Double-crested and Pelagic Cormorants - biologists say this protected area may be one of the most successful colonies in the Strait of Georgia.  Cormorants choose steep rock faces for their nests to protect their young from their biggest predators - Bald Eagles.  Other seabirds, such as Glaucous-winged Gulls and Pigeon Guillemots also nest on the cliffs away from the hungry beaks of eagles.


In the 1990's, the forests of Trincomali ridge were logged sporadically and the site was prepped for subdivision, which would have resulted in four new residential lots.  Realizing the imminent threat to this special habitat, TLC The Land Conservancy of British Columbia and Habitat Acquisition Trust embarked on a campaign to raise the money needed to purchase the property from the development company that owned it at the time.

The Islands Trust Conservancy joined the partnership in 2000 with the ability to provide an innovative new tool to the negotiations - a section 99 subdivision - allowing the property owner to easily subdivide the portion of the property with the most critical habitat and sell that land at a reduced price to the conservation agencies while retaining a portion of the lot for future use. But the partnership still had some funds to raise to finish the purchase.  In 2001, the federal government stepped forward with the final $45,000.  In 2001, the property was purchased and protected as a nature sanctuary.


Cormorants and the other rare seabirds that find sanctuary in this protected area are easily disturbed and intolerant of any kind of threat to their young, including humans.  These species are known to abandon their nests if disturbed frequently by people above and below the cliffs.  Even a kayak passing too closely or a landing sea-plane can flush the birds from their nest.  If you pass Trincomali Nature Sanctuary by water, please keep a safe distance between your boat and the cliffs and watch for any signs of stress to the birds.  If you walk in the sanctuary, please respect sections above the cliff that are closed to the public and leash your pets to avoid unexpected encounters.  With your help, we can maintain this site as one of the most successful cormorant colonies in the Strait of Georgia.


TLC The Land Conservancy of British Columbia and Habitat Acquisition Trust hold a conservation covenant on Trincomali Nature Sanctuary and Habitat Acquisition Trust manages the property on behalf of the Islands Trust Conservancy. 

The Islands Trust Conservancy's primary concern for this site is protection of the seabird colonies.  The Islands Trust Conservancy is working with local sea-plane operators and boaters to reduce disturbances in that part of Trincomali Channel.  We will also continue to monitor use of the property to make sure low-impact recreational use of the property doesn't have an impact on the colonies. 

With the help of Habitat Acquisition Trust, the Islands Trust Conservancy is removing invasive species such as Scotch broom from the sanctuary.  The management plan for Trincomali Nature Sanctuary can be viewed here.

CSS - Steil

The Steils and the Steil's Woods Covenant

After more than 50 years immersed in the hustle and bustle of the lower mainland, Sara and Richard Steil enjoyed a quieter life surrounded by natural habitat they protected with a conservation covenant.

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Page last updated: 16/10/19
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