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Brown bear: seven litter

Target

1.2 No species or habitat types will become extinct or be lost, and the status of threatened and near-threatened species and habitat types will be improved.

Indicator

Status of specific threatened species
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Are we moving in the right direction? Published by the Norwegian Environment Agency

Lynxes, bears and wolves were common and widely distributed in Norway in the mid-1800s, but all three species had been almost exterminated by ruthless hunting 100 years later. Since the mid-1990s, protection has improved their population status, but their numbers are still much lower than they were 100–150 years ago.

The brown bear population 

It is estimated that there were still roughly 4 000–5 000 brown bears in Scandinavia around 1850, about 65 per cent of them in Norway. The counties of Sogn og Fjordane, Møre og Romsdal, Telemark and Aust-Agder were the strongholds of the species.

Bears were almost exterminated in the first half of the 1900s. The Scandinavian population has now recovered to about 3 000 animals, about 2 per cent of which are in Norway at any time. Bears are primarily found in Hedmark, Nord-Trøndelag, Nordland, Troms and Finnmark county in areas adjacent to the Swedish, Finnish and Russian border. The Norwegian bear population is therefore highly influenced by the bear population status in neighbouring countries. There has been a decreasing trend in the population in Sweden since 2008, and we can expect a decrease in number of bears moving into Norway from Sweden.

National target not reached in 2017

The national target is 13 litters of bears a year. Using DNA analysis of bear scat and hair samples, researchers have estimated that seven litters were born in 2017. The target was therefore not reached in 2017.