Brown bears in Sweden

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Brown Bears in Sweden – the shy giant of the wilderness

The Brown Bear is a shy, secretive animal, and very rarely seen. Most Swedes, even those living in the areas most densely inhabited by bears, will go their whole lives without ever seeing one in the wild. Population estimates are therefore extremely difficult. However, there are a number of ongoing research projects aiming to better understand the Swedish Brown Bear and plan effectively for its conservation and management. A 2004 study by the Scandinavian Brown Bear Research Project put the Swedish population at somewhere between 1635 and 2840 individuals, with an annual rise in population of 4.7%.

Scandinavian Brown Bear Research Project

The Scandinavian Brown Bear Research Project has now published the most recent population estimate, regarding both growth rate and size for the year 2008. At national level, the population growth rate is estimated at 4.5 % per year (calculated from standardized hunter derived large carnivore observations during the period 1998-2007). The brown bear population size is calculated using the above mentioned observations as well as the results from the DNA-based monitoring that has been carried out in the majority of counties with a bear population. Nationally, the brown bear population is estimated to approximately 3221 (2950-3492) bears in 2008.