The coast and offshore areas of British Columbia are home
to vast numbers and species of sea birds. The Scott Islands,
a cluster of rugged, isolated islands off the north end of
Vancouver Island, area bird watcher’s paradise. These
islands contain some of B.C.’s most important bird colonies,
including that of the Cassin’s Auklet, which is listed
as a threatened species.
Millions of birds live, breed and migrate through the coastal
area known as the Queen Charlotte Basin. Birds, such as the
great blue heron, bald eagle, kingfisher, albatross, swan,
duck and loon are found on this coast and would be threatened
by the offshore oil and gas industry because of possible oil
spills and unavoidable low-level pollution.
Birds of this coast feed at all levels of the marine food
web on vegetation, crustaceans, invertebrates and fish. They
are vulnerable to any negative impact or decrease in their
Oil spills can kill adult birds, damage nesting colonies
and destroy sources of food. It is estimated that over 300,000
birds died from exposure to oil spilled during the Exxon Valdez
oil spill. There is no doubt that the risks to bird life would
be significant if offshore oil and gas development is allowed
more information on the impacts of offshore oil and gas on
birds click here.