This second volume of the seabird catalogue of British Columbia, published as a special issue of the journal Wildlife Afield (volume 16, numbers 1 and 2), presents the status and historical changes of seabird breeding populations at all known colonies in Haida Gwaii. It includes seabird memories of the Haida people, reports from early geological and anthropological expeditions, and information gathered by numerous institutions, independent observers, graduate students, and wildlife consultants. Those have been compiled to provide a history of visits and known changes at each colony site where seabirds have been known to nest in the Haida Gwaii archipelago. Introductory sections describe persons and institutions that have contributed to our knowledge of seabird breeding populations in the area. There is also a review of previous impacts and current threats to nesting populations, including those from human disturbance, commercial and recreational fishing, and native and non-native predators. Of great conservation concern for the seabirds of this archipelago is the continued spread of introduced rats and raccoons to the colony islands.
As with the first volume, this work is not just a valuable reference document. The volume begins with a 10-page tribute to Rudi Drent, whose early concern for nesting seabirds in British Columbia and his enthusiasm inspired this present treatise. In addition to the scientific text, this volume is lavishly illustrated with over 600 photographs and drawings. Wildlife artist Mark Hobson has generously donated seven paintings of coastal themes that are added as coloured inserts. Also scattered throughout the text are numerous anecdotes that detail fascinating aspects of the lives of nesting birds or the vivid memories of the authors and other contributors.
This second of the four-volume compendium is the product of decades of work, dedication, and commitment to the conservation of breeding seabirds in British Columbia by authors Michael Rodway, Wayne Campbell, and Moira Lemon. Upcoming volumes will be published in Wildlife Afield: Volume 3 will present detailed histories of seabird populations nesting at BC colonies along the outer mainland and Vancouver Island coasts; Volume 4 concerns the seabird colonies in the Salish Sea.