Help protect Spirit bears

The Kitasoo Xai’xais and Gitga’at Nations are proposing to close black bear hunting in a small area of the Great Bear Rainforest with the highest concentration of Spirit bears.

The Kitasoo Xai’xais and Gitga’at Nations are proposing to close black bear hunting within their respective territories in a small area of the Great Bear Rainforest with the highest concentration of Spirit bears. While hunting white Spirit bears is illegal, black coated bears that carry the recessive gene can be killed. 

This proposal is open to public comment until January 23rd. We encourage you to add your support and have made it easy for you to do so below. This action will take you less than 5 minutes. 

Raincoast supports culturally, ecologically and evolutionarily sustainable hunting. The evolutionary threat posed by the hunting of black bears in the region with Spirit bears, however, calls for cautious management. This region is unique and modest in size.

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Subject: Please impose a no hunting area where Spirit Bears are in high concentration. 

Comment: I would like to add my support for Kitasoo Xai’xais and Gitga’at Nations call to close black bear hunting in the small area of their territory with the highest concentration of Spirit bears. 

Research has shown that the recessive gene that causes the white coat in black bears is much rarer than scientists previously thought and that their habitat range is not well protected. Stopping the black bear hunt in this small area is a good step in protecting Spirit bears. 

Their protection also exemplifies the new economy, as Spirit bears are a focal species for ecotourism for both Nations, as well as at least 18 other ecotourism companies, who rely on respectful bear viewing.

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Research scientist, Adam Warner conducting genetics research in our genetics lab.
Photo by Alex Harris / Raincoast Conservation Foundation.