North Sweden on lookout for raccoon dogs

The raccoon dog spread to North Sweden from neighbouring Finland. (iStock)
The raccoon dog spread to North Sweden from neighbouring Finland. (iStock)
As the moose-hunting season kicks off in northern Sweden, hunters are being encouraged to keep an eye out for the invasive raccoon dog.

For several years there has been an effort to prevent the spread of the raccoon dog in northern Sweden, which comes by way of Finland where they are established.

Moose hunters asked to help

Researchers monitor large areas of the northern Swedish wilderness, and have previously captured raccoon dogs, sterilized them, and returned them to the wilderness to study with trackers. A member of Jägareförbundet, an association of hunters, asked moose hunters to call if they sighted any raccoon dogs.

Not to be confused with the raccoon, another invasive species in Sweden, the raccoon dog is related to wolves, foxes and dogs. They breed quickly, and sometimes carry diseases like rabies and tapeworm. The animal is also considered a garden pest.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Study shows polar bears relocating to icier Canadian Archipelago, Alaska Dispatch News

Finland:  Five invasive species threatening Finland’s nature, Yle News

Sweden: Sharp-edged mussel invades southern Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States: Invasive plant found in Alaska floatplane lake, Alaska Dispatch News

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