• picture
  • picture
  • picture
  • picture
Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of

This week, facts about... the white Kermode bear of British Columbia.


KNOY: More than 200 years ago this week, scientists in Boston exhibited a bear cub to astounded observers. It was the first time the United States public had a chance to glimpse a polar bear. Most of the spectator left the exhibit assuming polar bears were the world's only white bears. But in 1905, Dr. William Hornaday described a creature he discovered off the coast of British Columbia. It was a bear with white fur that was the offspring of bears with a black coat. He named the bear Americanus Kermode, or Kermode for short. The creature is a member of the black bear family, but a rare recessive gene enables 2 Kermode bears with black fur to give birth to a white cub. Only about 100 of the Kermode remain. Forty years ago the northern American temperate rainforest stretched from northern California through most of Alaska. Today the only Kermode habitat left is on remote islands off British Columbia. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.



Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

Living on Earth
62 Calef Highway, Suite 212
Lee, NH 03861
Telephone: 617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Newsletter [Click here]

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.

Creating positive outcomes for future generations.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.

Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth