Ministry of Environment
EcoCat:The Ecological Reports Catalogue
EcoCat Image

Report: Helliwell Provincial Park Ecosystem Based Plan

Report Documents
Map Plotfiles
  • No files of this type available
Data Files
Digital Map Files
  • No files of this type available
Image Document
Video Files
  • No files of this type available
All Documents

  • No files available


  • If you have any questions on the information presented, or require additional report data or attachments, please contact the Report Contact

The following report is an Ecosystem Based Plan (EBP) for Helliwell Provincial Park. Helliwell is located on Hornby Island in British Columbia. Helliwell Provincial Park has outstanding ecological values nationally, provincially, regionally and locally. This report includes a detailed ecosystem description of Helliwell; Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping; Marine Ecosystem mapping; Wildlife Inventory and Ecology; Natural and Human Disturbance Processes; and Management.

Author:  Ecofocus Environmental Consultants; Jacqueline Booth and Associates; Penn and Gunn Associates; Dunster Consulting

Date Published:  Mar 2001

Report ID:  17734

Audience:  Government and Public

Helliwell Provincial Park is located on Hornby Island in the Georgia Strait. The upland portion of the park consists of 69 hectares on the southeast side of Hornby. The marine portion is 2,803 hectares of foreshore and the park also includes Flora Islet. Helliwell Provincial Park has outstanding ecological values nationally, provincially, regionally and locally. It is also a highly cherished park for its scenic, cultural and recreational values. Its increasingly high profile as a tourist destination with estimated 60,000 visits a year, is causing Helliwell to be loved to death. National significance of Helliwell Provincial Park includes the last extant population of Taylors Checkerspot-officially declared an endangered species on the COSEWIC list as of November 30, 2000. Provincial significance of Helliwell Provincial Park includes five Red-listed (endangered or threatened) and nine Blue-listed (vulnerable) vascular plants documented within the park and one Red-listed plant association, Douglas-fir/ Garry Oak / Alaska Oniongrass, (Pseudotsuga menziesii/ Quercus garryana / Melica subulata). The park also provides habitat for five rare mammals, twenty rare birds and two rare invertebrates; seventeen of these are confirmed within the Park. Eight species are Red-listed, six of these are confirmed; sixteen are Blue-listed, nine of these are confirmed; and three are S3 (vulnerable) species noted by the BC Conservation Data Centre, two of these are confirmed. The marine component provides significant habitat for six-gill sharks, Harlequin ducks, Harbour seals and Steller and California sea lions. Over 175 marine faunal species have been recorded in the park waters. The marine area is a popular recreational dive and fishing area, and a significant area for commercial fishing. The coastal areas around Hornby Island have one of the largest herring spawns on the BC coast. The approach to the EBP was multidisciplinary in an attempt to fill out the ecological picture of the park spatially and temporally. It included a literature review of palaeoecological research and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping (TEM), Marine Ecosystem Mapping (MEM), public consultations and management literature reviews. Seventeen Terrestrial Ecosystem types over 75 distinct areas (polygons) were mapped. Nine of the Ecosystem types are forested site series; three are previously undescribed non-forested units including wetlands and forb dominated communities, the remaining five Ecosystems are sparsely vegetated, non-vegetated, or anthropogenic. One of these Ecosystems is a seral community, maintained at the seral stage by disturbance. Of the 75 polygons, 54 were mapped as pure units (i.e. only one ecosystem), the rest were complexes of two or three units. The most frequent complex was the Douglas-fir / Lodgepole pine /Arbutus (DAO) with Fescue / Camas. These were found on exposed gentle or hummocky slopes and crest positions. Common also were complexes of Beach and Dunegrass / Beach Pea units that occupy narrow shoreline margins that cannot be subdivided at 1: 5,000. The Park has been divided into nine vegetation management zones based on TEM ecosystem units. These zones are: Grassland/Garry Oak Core Conservation Area- West; Grassland/Garry Oak Core Conservation Area-East; Grassland/ Garry Oak to Douglas-fir transition Area; Second-growth Douglas-fir Forest restoration Area; Older growth Douglas-fir Core Conservation Area; Wetlands; Orchard; beach and Cliff Conservation Area; and Rocky Headlands and Islets. This Ecosystem Based Plan is written for anyone with an interest in Helliwell Park, whether they are a manager, a scientist or a member of the public interested in stewardship. Although scientific data will be presented in this report, every attempt will be made to make it clear to the readers. When a new concept is introduced, a definition will be either close by in the text or in the glossary at the end.

Report Type
  Terrestrial Information
  Birds - Barred Owl: Strix varia
  Birds - Blue Grouse: Dendragapus obscurus
  Birds - Bufflehead: Bucephala albeola
  Birds - Common Goldeneye: Bucephala clangula
  Birds - European Starling: Sturnus vulgaris
  Birds - Great Blue Heron: Ardea herodias
  Birds - Harlequin Duck: Histrionicus histrionicus
  Birds - Hutton's Vireo: Vireo huttoni
  Birds - Northern Pygmy Owl: Glaucidium gnoma
  Birds - Northern Saw-Whet Owl: Aegolius acadius
  Birds - Pelagic Cormorant: Phalacrocorax pelagicus
  Birds - Ruffed Grouse: Bonasa umbellus
  Birds - Turkey Vulture: Cathartes aura
  Biogeoclimatic Zone - CDF Coastal Douglas-fir Zone
  Fish Species - Perch (General)
  Fish Species - Salmon (General) - Oncorhynchus spp.
  Fish Species - Sculpins (General)
  Invertebrates - Aquatic
  Invertebrates - Terrestrial
  Mammals - Bats
  Mammals - Keen's Long-eared Myotis: Myotis keenii
  Mammals - River Otter: Lontra canadensis
  Region - Vancouver Island
  Terrestrial Information - Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping (TEM)

Warranty Disclaimer

This information is provided as a public service by the Government of British Columbia, Box 9411, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8W 9V1. This Web site and all of the information it contains are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, whether express or implied. All implied warranties, including, without limitation, implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement, are hereby expressly disclaimed. Limitation of Liabilities Under no circumstances will the Government of British Columbia be liable to any person or business entity for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, consequential, or other damages based on any use of this Web site or any other Web site to which this site is linked, including, without limitation, any lost profits, business interruption, or loss of programs or information, even if the Government of British Columbia has been specifically advised of the possibility of such damages.