- Kermode bear
Taxobox | name = Kermode bear
image_width = 200px
phylum = Chordata
familia = Ursidae
genus = "Ursus"
species = "U. americanus"
subspecies = "U. a. kermodei"
trinomial = "Ursus americanus kermodei"
trinomial_authority = Hornaday, 1905 The Kermode bear, also known as the "spirit bear" or "ghost bear", is subspecies of the
American Black Bearliving in the central coast of British Columbia, and noted for a small percentage of their population having white or cream-colored coats. This color variant is due to a unique recessive trait in their gene pool—they are neither albino nor related to polar bears.
Because of their ghost-like appearance, "spirit bears" hold a prominent place in the American Indian mythology of the area. [cite video
year = 2006
publisher = National Geographic
title = Last Stand of the Great Bear
isbn = 0-7922-4110-X]
The "kermodei" subspecies ranges from
Princess Royal Islandto Prince Rupert Island on the coast, and inland toward Hazelton, British Columbia. It is known to the indigenous population as Moksgm’ol. In the February 2006 Speech from the Throneby the Government of British Columbia, the premier announced his government's intention to designate the Kermode or spirit bear as British Columbia's official animal.
The Kermode bear was named after Francis Kermode, a Canadian who researched the species and a colleague of William Hornaday, the zoologist who described it. [cite web | title = The Kermode Bear | author = Steve Warmack | url = http://users.aristotle.net/~swarmack/kermode.html | accessdate = 2008-04-18]
In 2001, it was reported that a single-
nucleotidereplacement in the melanocortin 1 receptorgene (mc1r) is responsible for the coat color of the Kermode bear. Scientists sampled the DNA from 220 bears and found a complete association of a recessive allele with the white phase. [cite journal
author=Kermit Ritland, Craig Newton, and H. Dawn Marshall
title=Inheritance and population structure of the white-phased “Kermode” black bear
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habitatfor the Kermode bear has been under threat from logging. As of February 2006, the government of British Columbia has brokered a land-use agreement with environmental and First Nations groups and with the logging industry to protect 18,000 square km of land, including one of the largest intact temperate rainforests in the world, called the Great Bear Rainforest; the home of the Kermode bear. The agreement will limit forestry in the area and help support ecotourism. In September 2006, logging began in the Green Watershed, a critical area of Spirit Bear habitat that was not protected under the land-use agreement. Ecotourism, outlined by the BC government as a key economic initiative to be fostered in the area, is deemed by many an essential piece for the conservation of this rainforest and the Kermode bear.
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