Category: Vertebrates

Spirit Bear Capturing Salmon

Claire Kremen

We saw this Spirit Bear, a white-coated morph of the black bear, Ursus americanus, fishing for salmon with several other black bears in the Great Bear Rainforest. The Kitasoo people we visited there told us that they typically encounter the white bear once out of every ten sightings, which accords with recent genetic studies showing that the white-morph recessive allele is in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium at a frequency of 0.25 (95% CI [0.13, 0.41]) (Service et al. 2020, Service et al.'s genetic work also suggests that current protected areas are not well-aligned spatially with Spirit bear alleles.