Ecological reserves are protected areas of less than 1,000 km2—smaller than wilderness reserves—that are created for two main purposes:
In this province, the reserves in the second category are divided into three general types—botanical, fossil, and seabird ecological reserves. These are the reserves with the teeming seabird colonies, the globally significant fossils and rock stratotypes, the rare plants and animals.
Low-impact recreational activities—such as hiking and educational tours— and scientific research are allowed in ecological reserves. Entry permits are generally not required by visitors—but the public should be aware that activities are more restricted here than in wilderness reserves.
Permits are required for commercial operators, educational tours and scientific research.
There are currently 17 ecological reserves in the province.