Bear and lynx populations are shrinking in Sweden

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A hundred wolverines have gone due to hunting. (Kenneth Bergström/Sveriges Radio)
The wolverine population is down due to hunting. (Kenneth Bergström/Sveriges Radio)
The number of bears, wolverines and lynx has fallen in Sweden, reversing a previous trend.

Sweden’s University of Agricultural Sciences says Sweden used to have strong populations of such large predators, relative to other European countries, but the falling numbers threaten that leading position.

The bear population is down 15 percent in five years (from 3,300 to 2,800); the first fall since the 1930s. Wolverines are down from 750 to 650 in the last three years. Half of Sweden’s wildcats, lynx, have also disappeared, down from 1,700 to 840 in just five years.

All the predators have been killed off by increased hunting, designed to reduce their populations.

Wolf numbers are up since the 1990s, but the population in Sweden suffers from inbreeding.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Study shows polar bears relocating to icier Canadian Archipelago, Eye on the Arctic

Finland:  New measures to protect the Saimaa seal in Finland, Yle News

Iceland: Endangered whale meat shipped from Iceland via Halifax, The Canadian Press

Norway:  Rapid growth in Svalbard walrus population, Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden’s mountain hares changing fur color too early, Radio Sweden

United States: Scientists seek cause of patchy baldness in some Beaufort Sea polar bears, Alaska Dispatch

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