Kirkland Island

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Geography of Kirkland Island
Ladner, British Columbia Location.png
Continent North America
Region Lower Mainland British Columbia
Coordinates 49°06′42.3″N 123°06′07.6″W / 49.111750°N 123.102111°W / 49.111750; -123.102111[1] to 49°06′53.1″N 123°05′09.7″W / 49.114750°N 123.086028°W / 49.114750; -123.086028[1]
Lowest point Sea Level

Kirkland Island, also known as Rose-Kirkland Island, is located within the municipality of Richmond, British Columbia and is part of a small alluvial archipelago known as the South Arm Marshes located within the Ladner Reach of the South Arm of the Fraser River in British Columbia, Canada. It is the northernmost island of the group and lies between Richmond on Lulu Island in the north and Delta and Ladner town centre in the south.

The island is predominantly alluvial in nature and is approximately 1.5 miles long. It is separated from Rose Island to the south by a narrow tidal channel;[2] they are sometimes collectively referred to as Rose-Kirkland Island. It is uninhabited and is under the management of the Kirkland Island Waterfowl Society,[3] which does not allow public access.[4] The entire archipelago, comprising Kirkland, Woodward, Barber, Duck, Rose, Gunn and Williamson Islands, falls within the Agricultural Land Reserve and is under the administration of the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, designated as the South Arm Marshes Wildlife Management Area.

In 2008, Kirkland Island gained attention as the site for discovery of several disarticulated human feet.

In February, 2009, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and Port Metro Vancouver (PMV) announced completion of an intertidal enhancement project increasing fish habitat at Rose-Kirkland Island.[5] PMV contributed $1.5 million as part of a multi-year plan to offset loss of wildlife habitat from the development of the Deltaport Third Berth Project (DP3). The Rose-Kirkland Island project included breaching Fraser River dikes to create an intertidal environment; raising the elevation of a kilometre of dike to mitigate flooding of the fields on the island; excavating the pool area to facilitate tidal flushing; and upgrading 250 metres of rock riprap along the foreshore to protect against erosion due to waves caused by Fraser River boat traffic.

Another Kirkland Island is located in Monroe County, Tennessee, USA.

Ownership History[edit]

Kirkland Island derives its name from Ladner resident John Kirkland, who with his descendants were prominent landholders in the Surrey and Delta area.

Until 1960, Kirkland and Rose islands were privately owned by HR McMillan,[6][7] when ownership was transferred to Kirkland Island Waterfowl Society. In 1989, The Nature Trust along with the Pacific Estuary Conservation Program partners purchased the islands and subsequently leased it to the B.C. Ministry of Environment. The ministry, in turn, licensed annual agriculture management and production to the Kirkland Island Waterfowl Society to attract and support migrant waterfowl. In exchange, the society received exclusive use of the islands as a hunting club.[8]

Fauna[edit]

Many animal species, both endemic and transient, frequent Kirkland Island and the South Arm Marshes.[9] They include:

  • Ducks and geese. Many reside in the South Arm Marshes year-round, but the largest concentrations are observed during the spring and fall migrations. The most common species include mallard ducks and northern pintail ducks, green-winged teal and american wigeon. Snow geese are present in large numbers on the west portion of the area in March and April.
  • Bald eagles. Bald eagles nest throughout the Fraser River estuary.
  • Shorebirds. During low tides, mud flats and marsh areas are frequented by shorebirds, especially during the migration periods.

Flora[edit]

Rare plant elements appearing in the WMA include Hendersons Checker-mallow (Sidalcea hendersonii), Rice Cutgrass (Leersia oryzoides) and Western St. John’s Wort (Hypericum scouleri).[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "BCGNIS Geographical Name Details". 
  2. ^ http://www.elections.bc.ca/docs/map/01VAs/dls_a_1of3.pdf
  3. ^ http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/documents/wldviewing/wvsoutharm.pdf (British Columbia Wildlife Watch) South Arm Marshes Wildlife Management Area
  4. ^ http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/reg/W/Wildlife/187_2003.htm#section5 (British Columbia Procurement and Supply Services) Wildlife Act public access prohibition regulation
  5. ^ http://www.ducks.ca/province/bc/news/2009/020409.html Conservation project improves Fraser River fish and intertidal habitat
  6. ^ http://www.ducks.ca/province/bc/news/pdf/pfly0307.pdf Conservation Legacy of a DU Volunteer Lives On
  7. ^ http://www.ducks.ca/province/bc/news/pdf/pfly0908.pdf Rose-Kirkland Wetland Restoration on the Fraser River
  8. ^ http://www.ducks.ca/province/bc/news/pdf/pfly0908.pdf ibid.
  9. ^ http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/documents/wldviewing/wvsoutharm.pdf
  10. ^ http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/wma/south_arm_marshes/index.html South Arm Marshes Wildlife Management Area