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Wildlife

Bird
Copyright © Kamerareportage


Non-predators of special interest

Moose (Moose)
Copyright © Kamerareportage


The moose Having come as close to a symbol of Swedish nature as possible, the King of the Swedish forest; the moose (Moose) deserves an extra presentation. The moose is common all over Sweden, except for on Gotland and the in very north. It is the largest deer animal in the world, 2 metres in height and weighing up to 400-500 kilograms. The Swedish moose is a close relative to the North American, but usually does not reach quite the same size. But Sweden has a very large population with about 100,000 moose shot during hunting every year. The total population is around 250,000 which makes Sweden the country with the highest density in the world. Naturally, visitors have a very good chance seeing one in the wild, and some areas in Sweden have guided tours for visitors interested in meeting the King of the Forest where the Halle-Hunneberg area is the most recognised.

The fact that the moose is very common and also a very large animal is also a great security problem on the Swedish roads. Warning signs are put up along extra frequent crossovers and, fences protect the main highways.

Deer

The most common deer in Sweden is the Roe deer, a very small deer that is common in many other parts in Europe as well. Normal weight is seldom over 35 kilos, and the total population is around one million. The Roe deer is frequent in the south and the middle but rare far north. Other deer such as the Red deer and Fallow deer have spread populations but not nearly as much as the moose or the Roe deer.

Other

In general, anyone familiar with European fauna will find that Sweden has many of the animal populations that are spread over Europe. Hare, rabbit, beaver, seal, etc. are all part of the Swedish fauna.

Predators of special interest

Wolf

Sweden does have wolves but not at all in the numbers foreigners usually expect. The total population is about 100. The wolf is protected and is slowly beginning to renumber. A fully grown male can be very impressive, weighing up to 70 kilograms. To spot one in Sweden is very difficult but there are areas where known groups can be heard, particularly in Värmlamd along the Norwegian border.

Lynx

The Lynx is a large cat, approximately 1.3 metres long, with a short tail and the ears are characteristically pyramidal shaped with tufts, which adds to the picture. It is rarely seen but there is small scale hunting in a few provinces. Its main prey is the Roe deer, and the hare. The largest populations can be found in Jämtland, Gästrikland, Hälsingland as well as in Ångermanland.

Bear

The Brown Bear lives in natural environments in the northern parts of Sweden. The population is not large enough for any tourist to expect to spot one. There is some licensed hunting in a few provinces on a small scale. The Swedish Brown Bear can reach 2.3 metres in length , 1.25 in height and weigh approximately 350 kilograms.

Wolverine

The wolverine is under threat of extinction in Sweden. Only about 100 individuals reside in the northern parts and mountain regions. They are heavily protected and have difficulty renumbering since they partly depend on offal left by other predators - mainly the wolf. Since prey is hard to find they cause some damage to the tame reindeer herds owned by the Sami people.

The Red Fox

The fox is very common all over Sweden and one of the animals most strongly associated with Swedish nature. The hunting is popular, but the pest has diminished the population temporarily.

The other fox in Sweden, the polar fox, is very rare and only lives in the mountain regions above the timber line. The lack of wolves leaves little offal to eat and therefore it struggles to remain a part of the Swedish fauna.

Birds

Swedish birdlife is just as varied as the Swedish nature. The mountain regions host carpercalians, mountain grouse, black grouse, and several different owls, as well as numbers of different kinds of smaller birds.

There are two types of eagles, rare in numbers, spread out over the country. Large birds such as hawks, owls and buzzards add to the fauna of birds of prey. Many of them are threatened with extiction, as in many other countries, and hunting is generally forbidden on all birds of prey in Sweden.

The coastline hosts numbers of different seagulls, ducks and waterbirds. The swan, sea swallow the mighty grey heron are very common, both on the east and west coast.

Streams and rivers host two very special and interesting birds - the beautiful kingfisher and the dipper.

The mainland hosts some common birds that are very typical for Swedish nature; the pheasant, black bird, wagtail, black cock, nightingale, woodpeckers including the green woodpecker, pigeons, crow and magpie. The stork more or less extinct in Sweden - only a few pairs exist in the southern and middle parts of Sweden.

Fish

The lakes in Sweden host generally the same kinds of fish, except for the northern part which has a different fish fauna.Among the most common fish in the various Swedish lakes are the northern pike perch, roach, bream, and carp. In streams, and rivers the river trout, salmon, and the salmon trout reside along with the fish found in the lakes.

The West Coast hosts the same species as the Atlantic with exceptions for those who require warmer water. The cod, whiting, mackerel, herring, Baltic herring, spiny dogfish and shark are some common fish. One may also find the lobster, crab, crayfish and oyster along the coast and restaurants serve delicious seafood dishes for the connoisseur in the coast regions!

The northern and mountain regions have cold lakes where salmon trout and char offer great fishing.

Snakes and Amphibians

Frogs, lizards and snakes are a natural part of Swedish nature. The only poisonous snake is the viper, whose bite is comparable to a wasp's. It has a characteristic zigzag pattern on the back, although not so clear on all specimens. The other common snake is the grass snake, which prefers areas near water. Neither of these snakes reach lengths of more than a meter.

The different lizards are small and rarely seen. The blind worm, which is really a lizard, is very common and easy to recognise by its goldish colour. There are many different kinds of frogs and toads, and they all hibernate in lakes or ponds. During the summer they can be found all around southern and middle Sweden, in damp areas.


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