Coastal Douglas-fir zone (CDF)
Gabriola Island is located within the Coastal Douglas-fir Zone, the smallest of British Columbia’s 14 ecological zones. The CDF is limited to a low elevation coastal band on southeastern Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and a very small fringe on the adjacent mainland. Lying in the rainshadow of the Vancouver Island and Olympic mountains, the CDF is drier than other BC coastal ecological zones. For details of plants found in the CDF zone, visit our native trees and plants page.
Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystems are among the most imperilled coastal ecosystems. Being highly accessible, they were the first coastal forests targeted for logging and cleared for agricultural and urban development. Only about 0.5% of the land base formerly occupied by CDF forest is now composed of “older forest” (greater than 120 years old). Gabriola’s S’ul-hween X’pey Nature Reserve is a fine example of an older CDF forested ecosystem.
Sensitive ecosystems on Gabriola
Gabriola’s landscape is varied, ranging from forest to meadows to rocky shorelines. It includes many sensitive ecosystems—fragments of the original mosaic of ecosystems that are now rare, fragile, and threatened by human activity. On Gabriola these include: