There’s a place called Triangle Island where people are not allowed to go. And for a good reason. This small, rocky islet, just north of Vancouver Island, is an ecological reserve. So unless you’re a researcher with the proper papers, you ain’t getting a ride to this island.

Common murre egg. This is just one of the many species of seabirds that breed on Triangle Island. Credit: Mark Hipfner, Canadian Wildlife Service

Common murre egg. This is just one of the many species of seabirds that breed on Triangle Island. Photo credit: Mark Hipfner, Canadian Wildlife Service

Unbeknownst to probably all of us (I sure didn’t know), Triangle Island and its neighboring islands are breeding grounds for over one million seabirds, making it B.C.’s largest seabird colony. They’re home to approximately:

  • 90 per cent of Canada’s tufted puffins
  • 50 per cent of the world’s Cassin’s Auklets
  • 7 per cent of the world’s rhinoceros auklets

They’re also home to peregrine falcons, which act as bodyguards of sorts by keeping bald eagles at bay. This is good news for the common murres (yes, yet another seabird species) because while protecting their own territory, the peregrine falcons also end up protecting the nests of neighbouring birds and their eggs.

This peregrine falcon keeps a watchful eye over Triangle Island. Credit: Ron LeValley

This peregrine falcon keeps a watchful eye over Triangle Island. Photo credit: Ron LeValley

Watch the video below to see how this all works.

Seabirds depend on the Scott Islands for breeding purposes, but activities of the human kind (like fishing) are making it a difficult place to live. That’s why Environment Canada is working to establish a National Wildlife Area to protect the marine habitats that surround these islands.

These seabirds depend on those surrounding waters for food to feed their chicks. In short, healthy oceans equal healthy birds.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE6kpMnPqX0[/youtube]

Written by Karen Horak, writer-editor, content and digital experience at the Vancouver Aquarium.

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