Langara Island

Year of compilation: 2001

Site description
Langara Island is located at the northwest corner of Graham Island, the largest of the Queen Charlottes. The shoreline of the 3,105 ha island is dominated by sitka spruce. As one proceeds in from the sea, the forest composition shifts to western hemlock and then to predominately western red cedar. In the interior of the island there are areas of open sphagnum bog.

Key biodiversity
Langara Island supports globally significant numbers of Ancient Murrelets, a species which is listed as nationally vulnerable. Approximately 29,000 birds, or 2% of the global population, are present during breeding season. Of 26 individual islands with confirmed nesting records of Ancient Murrelets in British Columbia (the only area in Canada where this species occurs), Langara supports the fifth largest colony.

As well as Ancient Murrelets, Langara Island also supports nationally significant numbers of Pigeon Guillemots (187; approximately 1.8%) and large numbers of Pelagic Cormorants (104). Several pairs of Peregrine Falcons (ssp. pealei) are also present, a species that is listed as nationally vulnerable.

The marine waters surrounding the island are important staging areas for the breeding seabirds. In addition, an important marine feeding habitat for nationally significant numbers of the threatened Marbled Murrelet occurs from Parry Passage to Pillar Bay along the south shore of Langara island and the adjacent north coast of Graham Island.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
It is very likely that at one time Langara Island was the largest seabird colony in the Queen Charlotte Islands. Colonies of burrow-nesting seabirds occupied most of the perimeter of the island. Now only a small portion of the northeast coast supports an Ancient Murrelet breeding colony. A program to exterminate introduced rats (an important cause of the elimination and decline of nesting seabirds on this island) has been established on the island. With this program there is potential to restore Langara Island, as well as adjacent islands (Cox and Lucy), to their former state. Currently Langara Island has no protective status.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Langara Island. Downloaded from on 03/12/2022.