Monitoring the genetic variation and population structure of White bear populations in British Columbia to inform ecotourism and resource management

Spirit bears are a valuable symbol of the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia. These white bears are an economically and culturally important resource that require effective monitoring to ensure their perpetuation. Safeguarding the future continuation of white bears additionally requires understanding both how the white bear allele is perpetuated and how healthy these populations are. One important component of population health is genetic variation. Genetically variable populations are able to adapt to changing threats better than genetically depauperate groups. Using genetic markers, this study will investigate the health of white bear populations on islands in the Great Bear Rainforest. This information will be provided to our First Nation and Ecoutorism partners, and to Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

Faculty Supervisor:

Chris Darimont


Lauren Henson


Raincoast Conservation Foundation


Geography / Geology / Earth science


Natural resources




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