The Nature Trust of BC is working to expand its newest conservation complex by purchasing 31.2 hectares (77.2 acres) of ecologically significant land on the southwest corner of Saturna Island. The Saturna Island – Mount Fisher Bluffs acquisition will protect rare species, conserve imperiled ecosystems, and increase connectivity between critically important wildlife habitats.

The Southern Gulf Islands chain is a retreat for many people seeking refuge in the quiet and natural wonders of the Islands. The sensitive coniferous forests of Saturna Island are also a haven for biodiversity and home to many federally and/or provincially listed species and ecosystems at risk in urgent need of conservation. The Nature Trust recently purchased Saturna Island – Money Creek, 58.1 hectares (143.5 acres) of sensitive land in close proximity to Mount Fisher Bluffs.

Thanks to your help, we’ve protected this landscape for future generations.

Mt. Fisher Bluffs, Saturna Island, British Columbia, Canada

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Thanks to generous donors, we raised enough to protect this land for generations to come.

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The Land

Saturna Island is located approximately 20 kilometers northeast of the town of Sidney on Vancouver Island and situated just southeast of Mayne Island. Saturna Island – Mount Fisher Bluffs consists of 31.2 hectares of vacant land including sensitive ecosystems. Situated on a rugged Gulf Island, the southern portion of the land slopes steeply, culminating in a small peak, Mount Fisher, at the northeastern boundary.

The Mount Fisher Bluffs conservation area contains six sensitive ecosystems in a relatively natural state. These include shallow-soiled grassland, herbaceous rocky bluffs, mature coniferous forest ranging from 80-250 years old, coniferous woodland, mixed woodland and a portion of a wetland.

Ecological Context

Human disturbance and development of sensitive and rare ecosystems has seriously impacted BC’s biodiversity. By protecting this landscape, NTBC will have the opportunity to conserve and maintain species diversity in one of the most at risk biogeoclimatic zones in the province.

Saturna Island – Mount Fisher Bluffs is located within the moist maritime Coastal Douglas-fir (CDFmm) biogeoclimatic subzone, the smallest and most at risk Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification (BEC) zone in BC. Situated primarily along southeast Vancouver Island, within the southern Gulf Islands, and pockets of the south mainland coast, only 11.3% of the Coastal Douglas-fir zone is protected in conservation areas. The Coastal Douglas-fir zone includes a variety of sensitive ecosystems including those containing Garry Oak. Less than 5% of Garry Oak ecosystems remain in near natural condition and this prospective conservation area contains both Garry Oak forest and wildflower meadows. The mild Mediterranean-like climate of the CDFmm zone is created by the rain shadow of the Vancouver Island and Olympic mountains and allows for unique ecosystems and rich and rare flora and fauna to survive.

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We raised $50,000 to save this important land.

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Species at Risk

The hills of Saturna Island – Mount Fisher Bluffs are home to a variety of wildlife and plant species and many are currently listed under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA).

The distinctive and threatened Barn Swallow has been seen near this prospective conservation area. These acrobatic blue and rust-coloured birds catch insects while flying through the air, showing off their aerial agility. A calm, graceful, yet fierce Great Blue Heron, which is of special concern, has been seen fishing along the marine shoreline nearby this area.

The threatened Slender Popcornflower has been documented on this prospective conservation area. This tiny taprooted annual herb is critically imperiled in BC and is only known to grow in seven extant sites in Canada, located on southeast Vancouver Island and southern Gulf Islands. The endangered White Meconella, a member of the poppy family, also occurs here.  This globally imperiled small annual herb is known to occur at eight extant locations in Canada, all within rare Garry Oak ecosystems.

Ecosystems in BC are becoming more fragmented because of roadways, agriculture, forest harvesting, and urban development. The loss of connectivity within and amongst ecosystems can limit the ability of species to shift and adapt their distributions in response to the changing climate. Conserving this landscape will increase connectivity within the CDF biogeoclimatic zone and protect the habitat of the plants and wildlife that reside there.

Mt. Fisher Bluffs, Saturna Island, British Columbia, Canada

Thanks to your generous donations, we will protect this beautiful landscape forever.