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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The near extinction and recovery of brown bears in Scandinavia in relation to the bear management policies of Norway and Sweden

Published source details

Swenson J.E., Wabakken P., Sandegren F., Bjarvall A., Franzen R. & Soderberg A. (1995) The near extinction and recovery of brown bears in Scandinavia in relation to the bear management policies of Norway and Sweden. Wildlife Biology, 1, 11-25


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Prohibit or restrict hunting of a species Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A before-and-after study in 1908–1918 in Sweden and one in 1967–1977 in Norway (Swenson et al. 1995) found that the number of brown bears Ursus arctos reported killed did not change significantly after hunting was prohibited. The number of brown bears reported killed over five years after legal protection was introduced (Sweden: 6.8 bears/year; Norway: 1.2 bears/year) did not differ significantly to that over the five years before legal protection (Sweden: 7.2 bears/year; Norway: 1.6 bears/year). Numbers of bears killed were obtained from national harvesting records. Bears were protected on Crown land in 1913 in Sweden and fully protected in 1972 in Norway. Bears could still be killed to protect livestock and for self-defence.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)

Ban private ownership of hunted mammals Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A before-and-after study in 1922–1932 in Sweden (Swenson et al. 1995) found that after the banning of private ownership of hunted bears, fewer brown bears Ursus arctos were reported killed. Fewer brown bears were reported killed during the five years after the private ownership of hunted bears was banned (average 0.8 bears/county/year) than during the five years before the ban (8.2 bears/county/year). All killed brown bears became state property in 1927. Numbers of bears killed in 1922-1932 were obtained from national harvesting records.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)

Cease/reduce payments to cull mammals Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A before-and-after study in 1888–1898 in Sweden and a before-and-after study in 1925–1935 in Norway (Swenson et al. 1995) found that after the removal of financial hunting incentives fewer brown bears Ursus arctos were reported killed. In both Sweden and Norway, fewer bears were reported killed during the five years after the removal of financial hunting incentives (Sweden: average 14 bears/county/year; Norway: average 1 bear/county/year) than during the five years before the removal of financial hunting incentives (Sweden: average 25 bears/county/year; Norway: average 3 bears/county/year). Financial incentives to cull bears were eliminated in 1893 in Sweden and in 1930 in Norway. Additionally, in 1930, bear hunting on someone else’s property was banned in Norway. Numbers of bears killed were obtained from national harvesting records.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)