Posted by: cherylyoung | April 26, 2012

The Kermode Bear is a beautiful white bear that is found in the rain forests of the north coast of British Columbia and no place else in the world

Princess Royal Island is located amongst the

 isolated inlets and islands of Canada’s forgotten

 coast, in the heart of the world famous Great

 Bear Rainforest.

 This is an extremely remote area of British

 Columbia, 520 kilometers north of Vancouver and

200 kilometers south of Prince Rupert, accessible

 only by boat or air.

Aside from the Tsimshiam, who once inhabited a

 coastal village on the island but now no longer live

here, almost no people have entered the inland

 rainforest of Princess Royal Island.

Princess Royal Island is best known as being home

 to the legendary white Kermode Bear, Spirit Bear

of the North Coast of British Columbia.

These magnificent bears are not found anywhere

else in the entire world.

The Kermode bear (Ursus americanus “kermodei”)

 is a beautiful white bear that is only found in the

 rain forests of the north coast of British Columbia.

 The Kermode bear is not an albino, nor is it a polar

 bear, but rather a pale colour form of the

 black bear.

There is a unique double recessive gene required

 by both parents in order to produce a white bear.

While black bears are predominantly black, they

 also come in shades of brown, blonde, cinnamon,

auburn, smoky grey, and white.

 Black bears may have offspring and siblings of

varying colours.

The Kermode Bear was named in the early 1900s in

 honour of Francis Kermode, a zoologist with the

British Columbia Provincial Museum at the time,

who conducted the first studies into the origins of the

white bear.

 First Nation legend states that their creator, the

 Raven, created the white bear as a reminder of

 the last ice age, and decreed that these bears would

 live in peace and harmony forever.

 As a result of isolation and being undisturbed for

 thousands of years, the bears here have no instinctive

 fear of people.

The bears appear quite mellow and gentle toward

 humans, offering humankind a unique insight

 into truly wild bears.

Spirit bears are found predominantly on Princess

 Royal Island, Gribbell Island, and along the shores

 of Douglas Channel, but the bear’s range extends

 across an area of approximately 7.2 million

 hectares, bounded by the communities of

 Prince Rupert and Stewart to the north, Hazelton

to the east, and Terrace, Kitimat, and Bella Coola

 to the south.

 Kermode bears have also been spotted as far inland

 as Liard River Hot Springs.

Hunting of Kermode Bears in B.C. is banned, but

 because black bears can produce white offspring,

there is a strong case for protection of all black bears

within the kermode’s known range.

 While the bears are protected from hunting, there

 is still no sign of protection of their dwindling

 habitat from logging.

Conservationists are calling for the creation of

Spirit Bear Park, an area of pristine rainforests

 incorporating Princess Royal Island, where about

 ten percent of the bears are white.

The Spirit Bear Wilderness Conservancy Proposal

 calls for protection of Princess Royal Island,

Pooley Island, and the adjacent watersheds, Carter,

Green, Yule, Khutze, and the Aaltanhash, which

combine to make up the proposed 248,000-hectare

 wilderness area, the last large area of intact

 temperate rainforest in the world.

The island has a diverse habitat, ranging from

 sandy beaches, lowland old-growth rainforest,

 subalpine parklands, and alpine tundra;

 all interspersed with fiords, estuaries, and lakes.

 Princess Royal’s geographical centerpiece is a

60-km long fiord, the Laredo Inlet, which nearly

 bisects the southern two thirds of the island.

This long, protected anchorage offers spectacular

scenery and an estuary at the Bay of Plenty.

Many of Princess Royal’s salmon spawning streams

 and lakes drain into Laredo Inlet, providing essential

nutrients for the island’s inhabitants.

The long shoreline has significant salt marshes,

 kelp beds, and other habitat for aquatic life.

BC’s coastal temperate rainforests are characterized

 by some of the oldest and largest trees on earth,

 the most common of which are Sitka spruce,

red cedar, western hemlock, amabilis and Douglas fir.

 Trees can tower up to 300 feet and grow for more

 than 1,500 years.

The biological abundance of BC’s coastal rainforests

 are the result of over 10,000 years of evolution,

 which began when the glaciers of the Pleistocene

Epoch melted.

These coastal forests have evolved to their biological

 splendour because natural disturbances, such as

 fires, happen infrequently, and are usually small

 in scale.

The rain forest of the central coast of British Columbia

 is under extreme pressure from logging companies

 that have set their unscrupulously greedy eyes on

 these diminishing rain forests, and the centuries-old

 trees that are so critical to wildlife and the ecosystem

 of the area.

Interfor (Vancouver based International Forest

 Products) is actively engaged in clearcutting,

 blasting and road building on Princess Royal Island,

 as evidenced by aerial photographs taken by

 Greenpeace in February 2001.

This evidence contradicts Interfor’s continued

assurance to the public to the contrary.

The Raincoast Conservation Society is one of the

 many organizations working to save this part of

 British Columbia’s heritage.

There is a scheduled commercial service to

 Vancouver International Airport, with a flying time

 of 90 minutes between Prince Rupert and

Vancouver.

 There are float plane, helicopter, ferry and water

 taxi services between Prince Rupert and most

of the smaller communities throughout the region.

Travellers heading north from Port Hardy on

Vancouver Island can hop aboard BC Ferries for

 the scenic journey through the Inside Passage

 to Prince Rupert.

View maps of Prince Rupert and

Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands).

Spirit Bear – The Simon Jackson Story DVD

Simon Jackson is an awkward 15-year-old who

lives on a planet light years away from the in

crowd  – until a life-changing moment.

 Attacked in the British Columbia wilderness,

 Simon is rescued by a rare white Kermode bear.

When he learns these magnificent creatures are

 endangered, that only 400 are in existence in a

 small area of norhtern BC, Simon turns from shy,

stuttering daydreamer to political activist.

Mustering his courage, he takes on the powerful

forest industry and the provincial government.

This inspirational drama follows real-life teenager

 Simon Jackson (Mark Rendall), a quiet and

awkward student who, after a remarkable

 encounter in the woods, almost single-handedly

 embarks on a successful crusade to protect the

endangered Kermode Bear and its natural habitat.

Graham Greene, Ed Begley Jr., and Katie Stuart

costar in this moving, environmentally conscious

family movie.

I watched this movie last night and that is what

 inspired me to  create this Blog and I hope you

will consider watching it.

On a scale of 1-10, I give it a 10

sign

cbythesea@shaw.ca

http://www.upstairsonbeacon.com

2405 Beacon Ave,

Sidney B.C.

CHERYL C YOUNG, REALTOR

SAANICH PENINSULA REALTY

SIDNEY B.C www.cherylyoung

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Responses

  1. Reblogged this on Cheryl Young's Blog.


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