One of the best activities in Sweden is to admire its unspoiled wildlife. Take a close look into the natural habitat of wild animals with wildlife tours in Sweden!
Sweden is a place where wildlife thrives—besides moose, reindeer, and deer, you can also spot some predators, such as bears, wolves, lynx, and wolverines. Why do wild animals love it here? Sweden, being the third-largest country in the European Union, has a surprisingly small population density. That gives space and freedom for wildlife to reign in a vast wilderness and for us to experience what it's like to be a guest in a wildland.
Here, we will give some of the characteristics of wild animals in Sweden and where it is possible to spot them.
Wolves are a recovering population in Sweden—after being hunted to extinction in the 1800s, wildlife management was able to repopulate the area with the Russian-Finnish species. Currently, there are around 300-400 wolves in Sweden.
The Grey Wolf is probably one of the most well-researched and known animals. It has gray winter fur which is long and bushy. The average male weighs around 50 kg and the female 40 kg. The Grey Wolf is a descendant of a dog that was first domesticated in the Middle East.
Where to see wolves in Sweden? Scandinavian wolves can be spotted in southern parts of Central Sweden—they are sparsely populated in North or South of Sweden. For wolf sightings, look in the counties of Västmanland, Örebro, Värmland, Dalarna, and Gävleborg.
How to spot wolves in Sweden? Although the thought of confronting a wolf might sound terrifying, it's not as common as it seems. Wolves live in densely forested areas in Sweden and are well camouflaged. Even though seeing a wolf is unlikely, hearing one howl is common.
Moose can be found all over Sweden, which has the densest moose population in the world. Sweden has a population of almost 400,000 moose and a large number, around 30,000, live in the forests of Småland.
Moose is the largest species of the deer family, but unlike most deer species, they are very solitary and nomadic animals. It is very likely to see one roaming around freely.
Where to see moose in Sweden? The general rule is—the farther up north you are, the higher the chances are to spot a moose roaming free. Vast forests, marshlands, and shrubbery are also key characteristics of moose's ideal habitat.
How to see moose in Sweden? After spending most of their time in deep forests, moose venture out in search of food during the evenings. That is your best chance to spot them! You can drive around fields and meadows to increase your chances of spotting one.
The Swedish Brown Bear population consists of about 3,000 animals living in central and northern parts of Sweden. Adult males weigh between 100-300 kg and females between 60-200kg. Bears are shy and do not attack people unless provoked. It is best to admire these wild animals from an appropriate distance.
Where to see bears in Sweden? Bears live in the northern and central parts of Sweden. Dalarna, Gävleborg, and Jämtland in central Sweden are the most populated areas.
How to spot bears in Sweden? As we mentioned before, brown bears are very shy, and that's why it's difficult to spot them in the wild. So, if you spot one feeding on grass in open meadows or the mountains eating berries, consider yourself very lucky!
The arctic fox, also known as the polar fox, can survive in very low temperatures and is well adapted to the Arctic winters. Their fur color changes depending on the season, ranging from grayish brown to snow white or even blue-gray. Without any doubt, they are masters of camouflage. Being a predator itself, the arctic fox is also hunted by other predators, like wolves, bears, and eagles.
Where to see the arctic fox in Sweden? Your best chance to see the arctic fox in Sweden is in the mountains of northwestern Sweden and particularly in the alpine areas of Jämtland, Västerbotten, and Norrbotten.
How to spot the arctic fox in Sweden? Most arctic foxes are populated in remote areas, unreachable by car. One of the places of high chances in spotting one is the Helags mountains in Härjedalen. Stekenjokk between Jämtland and Västerbotten is also worth checking out.
Wolverines are perhaps the least known mammal of Sweden. Wolverines, larger than their relatives otters, weasels, and mink, have a solid build, short legs, and wide feet. This body shape allows them to travel through snow easily. Wolverines are also good tree climbers and excellent swimmers.
Wolverines are very territorial animals, and they develop strong family bonds. They live in gender-exclusive territories, with male and female territories overlapping with each other.
Where to see wolverines in Sweden? Wolverines can mainly be found in remote areas. They are mostly found in mountainous regions of Sweden, such as Norrbotten, Västerbotten and Jämtland, but can also be found further down the South in the forested regions of Dalarna and Hälsingland.
How to spot wolverines in Sweden? Seeing a wolverine is wild is more of a lucky accident than an assured event. They can be more easily seen on the mountains during winter, their brown fur contrasting with white snow.
The lynx is the largest cat in Europe and the third-largest predator in Sweden. It consumes around one or two kilos of meat DAILY. Lynx use efficient hunting techniques to bring down animals even bigger in size, deer being their main prey.
The lynx can jump very high due to its long and strong legs. They have large ears and long, dense fur. The lynx males live within a large range together with one or more females. Male territories usually overlap, but usually they avoid each other.
Where to see lynx in Sweden? Even though lynx can be found all over Sweden, some places provide a bit more chance of spotting one. Around Stockholm in Sörmland and Uppland and Bergslagen are more densely populated areas.
How to spot lynx in Sweden? These animals are most active around dawn and dusk, early mornings being the most probable time to see one. If a lynx sees you as a threat, it will most likely climb up a tree and wait for you to pass. Always watch over your head when strolling down the forest. Driving past the meadows and fields during the sunrise is the best (and safest) bet at spotting one at the distance.