Facilitating the protection and restoration of species and ecosystems at risk on BC’s South Coast

Coastal sand ecosystems encompass the terrestrial portion of beaches, spits, and dunes in which sand is the dominant substrate. They contain sparsely-vegetated or herbaceous ecological communities, as well as associated forest, wetland, and bluff communities. Coastal sand ecosystems occur at the intersection of marine and terrestrial realms where ecological patterns are structured by geomorphic and oceanographic disturbance processes (e.g., sand movement, wind erosion, tides, storm surges, ocean spray), soil development, local climate, and vegetation succession). Source: Coastal Sand Ecosystem Recovery Team. A number of red-listed communities occur on the South Coast including: northern wormwood - red fescue / grey rock-moss, large-headed sedge Herbaceous Vegetation, dune wildrye - beach pea. Both waterbirds and migratory songbirds are heavily dependent on sand communities for seasonal and year round nesting, foraging and refuge during storms and weather events.



Download Species Fact Sheet in PDF


Global Status: 
Provincial Status: 
BC List Status: 
Red (Candidates for- Extirpated, Endangered, or Threatened status)



The majority of remaining coastal sand ecosystems are on the west coast of Vancouver Island, followed by BC's mainland coast and Haida Gwaii


Habitat destruction, invasive plants and human recreational activities are part of the range of threats identified.

Conservation and Management

Apply conservation and management approaches identified in the Status Report on Coastal Sand Ecosystems in BC, the Multi-species Action Plan for Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada [Proposed] and recovery strategies, management plans and status reports for species including the contorted-pod evening primrose, Aduoin's Night Stalking Tiger Beetle, Edward's Beach Moth and Yellow Sand Verbena Moth.


General brochure about the Sand Ecosystems of British Columbia on the South Coast. Brochure includes information and photos about where to find them, what species and ecological communities can be found, the threats that exist and what we can all do to help.
All about the sand ecosystems of the South Coast and the species at risk they support. PDF of a presentation By Tamsin Baker
Prepared for the residents of North Thormanby Island, Sunshine Coast BC
Learning outcomes from managing for rare species on urban beaches in Australia
A sampling of the various signage employed for Boundary Bay, Savary Island, Thormanby Island and the South Coast
A summary of the presentations given on February 27, 2018 at a Parks Canada Symposium regarding the restoration of Coastal Sand Ecosystems on the Coast of British Columbia.
For further information see:


Prepared by Pamela Zevit RPBio and Tamsin Baker. Updated April 2017