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Wildlife in Sweden

Photo: Nature Travels

Wildlife in Sweden

Our guide to Sweden's wildlife

Sweden's Big Five

BBC Wildlife magazine

"Why should I visit Sweden?"

"Because it is one of the world's most underrated wildlife destinations. Sweden's vast coniferous forests and pristine lakes and wetlands are packed with exciting species including 2,500 European brown bears, more than 200,000 beavers, 250,000 moose and 200 wolves." Simon Birch, BBC Wildlife magazine

Brown Bear

Wolverine

Wolf

New Blood for the Wolf

The grey wolf was thought to be extinct in Sweden until an isolated population of just 10 individuals was discovered in the southern forests in the 1980s. The population was in a genetic bottleneck with all individuals closely related, but vital new blood was introduced when a lone wolf from Russia migrated into their territory. One study showed that, of the 73 wolf pups born between 1993 and 2001, 68 were related to this one lone migrant.

Today, the Swedish population is once again desperately in need of new blood, and recently a Finnish wolf was found to have made its way down the country to join the Swedish wolves in Dalarna. If conflicts between the animals and human interests can be managed successfully, the gene pool of the Swedish wolf may once more have a future.

Swedish Predator Society

Nature Travels has previously supported Swedish wolf conservation through Svenska Rovdjursföreningen, the Swedish Predator Society. For more information on the conservation efforts currently supported by Nature Travels, please see Ecotourism.

Golden Eagle

Lynx

Other Swedish Wildlife

Elk (or Moose!)

Beaver

Arctic Fox

Protecting the Arctic Fox

Since 1985, conservationists in the 2100km2 Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve in northern Sweden have been working to monitor and conserve the Arctic Fox population in an important stronghold for this critically endangered species.

The work involves den inventories, radio telemetry and feeding programmes aimed at decreasing the mortality of young pups.

After many years of hard work, Arctic Fox populations are showing signs of recovery.

Sea Eagle

Recovery of the Sea Eagle

In 1971, when Project Sea Eagle began working to reverse the decline of Sweden's largest and most powerful raptor, Sea Eagles were on the brink of extinction in Sweden, with a country-wide population reduced to just 150 individuals, largely due to toxins in the food chain affecting egg development.

Today, following more than 30 years of dedicated conservation work, the future for the species in Sweden is once again looking much brighter, with Sea Eagles in Sweden numbering around 1,700.

Grey Seal

Capercaillie

The capercaillie is a huge woodland grouse which spends much of its time ground feeding but may also feed on shoots in trees. The large black Capercaillie males are unmistakable.

Roe Deer

The Roe Deer is Sweden's most common deer, seldom weighing over 35kg. Sweden has a population of around a million. In the south and middle of the country the roe deer is common but rarer further north. Red deer and Fallow deer also occur in Sweden but have more scattered populations.

Black Grouse

The males of the black grouse are all black and have a distinctive red wattle over the eye and white stripe along each wing in flight. They have a lyre-shaped tail which is fanned out and raised during display revealing white under-tail feathers. The females are smaller and grey-brown with a slightly notched tail.

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