Monday, November 11, 2013

The Spirit Bear and the Great Bear Rainforest

One of the rarest creatures in the world, a Kermode bear, is a sub-species of the Black Bear family.

Spirit Bear, Great Bear Rainforest - Wiki images

The Spirit Bear

Or Kermode bear
Ursus americanus kermodei, pronounced kerr-MO-dee.

These special bears have a recessive genetic anomoly which produces the white or champagne-colored fur. Numbering only in the hundreds, this species could be drastically reduced by destruction of its feeding grounds through oil pollution.

The natural habitat of the Spirit Bear is the Great Bear Rainforest, a large pristine area including coastal waters, which protects many species. It would take decades to recover from losses to the whale populations, bird populations, salmon and halibut fishing, and wildlife tourism. The side effects of the loss to the food chain would be noticeable. Oil suffocates.

Kermode bears are called Spirit Bears, particularly by the First Nations tribes of British Columbia. Officially, these bears are named after a director of the Royal British Columbia Museum, Francis Kermode, who researched the Kermode sub-species.
The Spirit Bear lives in the central and north coast of British Columbia, Canada. See wiki map below.

Wikipedia map of BC and Great Bear Rainforest area



The Vancouver Sun Newspaper - 'Great Bear Rainforest a region to promote, not pollute; Northern Gateway: Pipeline decision makers should visit this pristine area to see just what is at risk.' by Michael McCarthy, travel writer. Commentary.

An excellent article with statistics on The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. That cleanup is still ongoing. Gale-force winds sweep down these passages, increasing the chances of an accident. The same problem that affects the bears will eventually affect us.

No one except big business wants the oil pipelines in their backyard. Would you?


Have you heard of Spirit Bears? Should we have more animal conservation sites, with stronger rules and regulations? If there's only one habitat, shouldn't it be protected? Do you care about your environment, or about the green spaces like The Great Bear Rainforest?


References: Great Bear Rainforest Spirit Bear Site Wiki Kermode bear