Kermode bears are a subspecies of the American black bear found in coastal British Columbia. They are named after Frank Kermode, a Royal B.C. Museum former director.
|Scientific Name||Ursus americanus kermodei|
|Also known as||Spirit bear, Ghost bear|
|Description||Size: 3.3-3.9 ft (100-120 cm) at the shoulders
Weight: Females are 155 lb (70 kg) on average while males are around 300 lb (135 kg); they can, however, weigh as much as 640 lb (290 kg)
Color: Being a subspecies of the American black bear, most individuals are that color, but there are between 100 and 500 individuals that are entirely white
|Distribution||Central and northern coastal areas of British Columbia|
|Sounds & Communication||Grunting and tongue-clicking; they also communicate through touch, smell, and visual cues|
|Lifespan||25 years in the wild but usually only survives for around 10 years|
|Diet||Plant material, berries, and salmon|
|Adaptations||The thick fur helps them survive the cold weather their habitat offers|
|Predators||Cubs are vulnerable to cougars and wolves|
|IUCN Conservation Status||Least Concern|
- They have a crepuscular lifestyle, being active around twilight.
- They are solitary animals, except for females with her cubs, groups at feeding sites, and mating pairs.
- Kermode bears are territorial.
- They hibernate through the winter months by lowering the metabolism that allows them to survive for months without eating, drinking, defecating or urinating.
Mating & Reproduction
The mating season peaks between June and August. The gestation period is around 8 months. Litters may consist of up to 6 cubs but usually has 2-3.
Cubs start to walk at around 5 weeks of age. They are nursed for up to 30 weeks and eventually disperse at around 16-18 months old. They become sexually mature by 3 years.
- Kermode bears are the provincial mammal of British Columbia.
- Studies have shown that black Kermode bears mate mostly with bears with the same color as them, while white ones mate with white Kermode bears.
Published on June 7th 2018 by Sudipto Chakrabarti under Coniferous Forest Animals.
Article was last reviewed on 5th December 2022.
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