How many bears do we have in Sweden?
We have tested, compared and analysed different methods to estimate the population of brown bears. The previous estimation of the bear population size in Sweden is from 1996. F.ex. We have made a new estimation in Dalarna and Gävleborgs counties in central Sweden in 2001 and 2002 by analysing the DNA from bear scats collected by moose hunters. Additionally the observations of carnivores by hunters during moose hunting have been registered from 1998, which gives us more knowledge about the population’s growth. The method shows an annual net increase of 4,7% in Sweden generally, with large variation among the counties.
Bear observations by hunters during the first week of moose hunting, corrected for observation time
Results from the genetic analysis of bear scats
In autumn 2001 and 2002 the hunters in Dalarna and Gävleborgs counties collected samples from bear scats they found during the hunting season. All together there were 1776 samples collected whereof 1327 contained a useable DNA information. With help of these samples it was possible to identify different individuals and their sex.
The coordinates from the scats have been added in the sample report by the hunter.
Here are shown the results from the scat collection in 2001:
The population estimation resulted in a total number of 550 (482-648) bears in Gävleborg and Dalarna. It was not possible to determine which county had the most dense area of bears, because the most dense area is on the county border
The preliminary estimate of number of bears in Sweden is 1635-2840 bears in Sweden in 2004.