The most numerous bear species in the world is the American black bear. It is found in every province and territory of Canada, except Prince Edward Island, and it continues to recolonize its former range in the United States. These bears are the only bears native to the eastern part of North America. The vast majority of these bears found in the east are black with brown muzzles. Some have some white on their chests. Because Europeans settled this part of the continent first, the animal was called the black bear.
However, this species comes in several different phases. There is a cinnamon or brown color phase of the black bear, which is more common in the central and western parts of the continent. In Alaska, “blue glacier” black bears occur with a bluish gray tinge to their coats. White black bears have been documented, such as this one killed in Western Pennsylvania.
However, along the central part of British Columbia’s coast, one tenth of the black bears are light cream-colored. These bears are called “Kermode bears,” after Francis Kermode, the Canadian zoologist who first described this color phase. It has recently been designated the provincial animal of British Columbia.
This color phase of black bear is found in the temperate rainforest, which is under threat from wide scale logging. This bear is found right in the heart of an extensive tract of this temperate rainforest, which has been called the Great Bear Rainforest.