Solander Island Light

by Captain Alec Provan and John MacFarlane 2016

Solander Island

Solander Island Light (Photo from the Captain Alec Provan collection. )

Solander Island Light (List of Lights 77 G5194) is a White cylindrical tower Flash white 1 second; eclipse 9 seconds, year round on Chart:3680 94 m above the water. It was always an automated (unmanned) light.

The Solander Island Ecological Reserve was established May 4, 1971. It is located on an island off the Western extremity of the Brooks Peninsula, between Kyuquot and Quatsino Sounds. The primary role of Solander Island Ecological Reserve is to protect the habitat of breeding populations of numerous species of seabirds, many of which are rare and endangered. The ecological reserve comprises an irregularly shaped, steep–sided island with associated offshore rocks and reefs that is encompassed entirely in Brooks Peninsula Park. This small eight–hectare island provides habitat for globally and nationally significant populations of burrow–nesting seabirds including Leach’s storm petrel, Cassin’s auklet, tufted puffin, pelagic cormorant, glaucous–winged gull, and pigeon guillemot. It has the second largest tufted puffin colony and pelagic cormorant colony, as well as the third largest Leach’s storm petrel colony, on the British Columbia coast.

Non–nesting seabirds seen on or near the island include the horned puffin, rhinoceros auklet, common murre, black–legged kittiwake, sooty shearwater, and Brandt’s cormorant. Bald eagles and peregrine falcons (subspecies pealei which is nationally threatened) have been recorded, but nesting is not confirmed. The island is also used as a winter haul out by northern and California sea lions. Sea otters have been seen in the ecological reserve.

The island is devoid of trees, with the vegetative cover consisting mostly of grass species along with patches of salmonberry and other herbaceous species. The blue–listed plant hairy goldfields (Lasthenia maritima) occurs there, which has only six known occurrences in British Columbia (BC). This plant is unique in that it requires rocky coastal cliffs in the lowland zone (Coastal Western Hemlock vh1), often nitrified from guano deposits and it is rare in southwest BC.

References: Solander Island Ecological Reserve Purpose Statement (2003);

To quote from this article please cite:

Provan, Captain Alec and John MacFarlane (2016) Solander Island Light. 2016.

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