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Wildlife of Sweden

Are you looking for an unforgettable experience? We present: Wildlife of Sweden. Experience the beautiful wildlife of Sweden.

Offering everything from deep-blue archipelagos and Northern Lights, to the other worldly fashions, mouth watering cuisines, time old culture and breathtaking nature, Sweden is a Nordic dream.

If you have not visited Sweden yet, then you are in for a treat!

wild sweden tour
Tented camp in Lapland © Wild Sweden

In order to learn more about your favorite wildlife in Sweden, you can just select your favorite animal below.

Wildlife of Sweden

Eurasian Wolf


Moose/ European Elk

Arctic Fox


Brown Bear


Does Sweden Sound like a country you would love to visit?

If so, read on to learn about the incredible wildlife that has cultural and historic significance to indigenous communities of Sweden.


Stockholm : Sweden city

A historical feat to discover, the Scandinavian country of Sweden, situated in Northern Europe, accommodates a population of over 9 million.

Sweden consists of an abundance of smaller, coastal islands, and natural wonders in the form of countless inland lakes, extensive forests, and glaciated mountain ranges as far as the eye can see.

The city center; beautiful Stockholm, has been governed by monarchy for over two thousand years. A country standing the test of time.

Sweden works hard to preserve its natural biodiversity and strict environmental regulations enforce this. There are flourishing indigenous forests and expansive flower fieldslakeshills, and mountains.

These are great sites to tour, especially during the summer when the sun dries the ground and lights up the air for fun activities such as hiking. There are hundreds of species of colorful birds to watch.

Northern Lights in sweden

Wild animals such as moose, deer, and lynx wander around casually in the countryside, and you would be lucky to bump into one of them and even take a selfie!

If you are traveling with a bunch of friends, you will find perfect spots next to caves to set up camps and light bonfires as you barbecue and sing the nights away. 

You must take a camera or binoculars with you. This beautiful country needs an extra set of wide eyes and a photo gallery to store all your adventures.

Seasons in Sweden

Spring runs from March/April to May, summer from June to August, fall from September to October/November and winter from November/December to March/February.

In a land as varied as Sweden, these seasons can be quite different depending on where you live

The Northern Lights dance across the skies in Arctic winter and the Midnight Sun illuminates the nights in the summer months. From the mountains of the mighty north, to the white sandy beaches of the temperate south, we have space for everyone.

Wildlife of Sweden

YouTube video

Sweden is a great place if you are passionate about wildlife. Besides moose, reindeer, deer and various birds, which you can spot without too much effort, the wildlife of Sweden encapsulates a territory of predators such as the bear, wolf, lynx and wolverine.

It makes sense considering that Sweden is the third largest country in the European Union yet has the second lowest population density (23.5 people per square kilometre).

Meaning that there is expansive wilderness where the wildlife of Sweden have free reign, granting more opportunities to witness and experience animal encounters in Sweden than most other European countries.

#1 Wolf

A wolf : wildlife of sweden

The Eurasian wolf , a subspecies of the Grey wolf, was once widespread throughout Eurasia prior to the Middle Ages.

Family: Canidae
Height: 66 – 81 cm (Adult, At Shoulder)
Lifespan: 6 – 8 years (In the wild)
Order: Carnivora
Scientific name: Canis lupus
Mass: Male: 30 – 80 kg (Adult), Female: 23 – 55 kg (Adult)

Sweden shares a wolf population with Norway, which causes occasional fluctuations in both country’s wolf numbers. Currently, 90 percent of this trans-border population lives in Sweden.

Conservation is of importance due to genetic isolation, which is a result of relocation to avoid human conflict in Northern Sweden.

Sweden's wildlife: Eurasian wolves

Wolves have recently returned to Sweden and Scandinavia since they were claimed extinct in the 1960’s. The wolves of Sweden: At first wolves were hunted for their thick winter fur. Then as cattle and sheep grazing became common, wolves were killed because they preyed on the herds of domestic animals.

The wolves came to Scandinavia from Eurasia after the last ice age some 10,000 years ago, followed by humans, deer and other mammals. Since then wolves have been a part of the Scandinavian fauna as well as the cultural history.

Wolves are social animals. They live in family groups, sometimes called packs. A family group typically consist of two parents and their pups. Most of the pups disperse (leave) the family after twelve months, before becoming sexually mature.

Some pups may stay for more than one year. These elder pups may act as baby sits and remain close to the pups of the younger generation.

#2 Lynx 

A lynx in Sweden yawning

A nomadic, nocturnal and solitary animal: it is only socialized during the rutting season, in the first months of the year. They tend to hibernate until warmer temperatures can accommodate them and practice relatively nocturnal lifestyles.

Family: Felidae
Lifespan: Bobcat: 7 years
Scientific name: Lynx
Height: Eurasian lynx: 55 – 75 cm, Canada lynx: 48 – 56 cm, Iberian lynx: 60 – 70 cm
Mass: Bobcat: 8,6 kg, Eurasian lynx: 18 – 30 kg, Canada lynx: 8 – 11 kg, Iberian lynx: 13 kg
Length: Bobcat: 69 cm, Eurasian lynx: 80 – 130 cm, Canada lynx: 76 – 110 cm, Iberian lynx: 85 – 110 cm

A lynx is any of the four species within the medium-sized wild cat genus Lynx.

The name lynx originated in Middle English via Latin from the Greek word λύγξ, derived from the Indo-European root leuk- in reference to the luminescence of its reflective eyes.

A sleepy Lynx: Sweden's wildlife

This largest Swedish feline can generally weigh about 15 – 30kgs (there are known heavier ones, specifically in and from Siberia), with males in the range of 18 to 30kgs and females between 8 to 21kgs.

These feline creatures tend to mainly hunt and eat reindeer in the northern parts of Sweden and in the southern parts of the country it is roe deer that they tend to mainly hunt. Considered to be a skilful hunter, the lynx can eat a variety of animals from wild fowls to hares.

From the year of 1991, this feline creature has been protected in Sweden. The hunting of these animals by humans is regulated by government agencies

#3 Moose ( European Elk) 

A moose: a part of the wildlife of sweden

There are approximately 350,000 moose (Alces alces) in Sweden.

The moose or elk, Alces alces, is a member of the New World deer subfamily and is the largest and heaviest extant species in the deer family. Most adult male moose have distinctive broad, palmate antlers; most other members of the deer family have antlers with a dendritic configuration.

Moose, Native to both Northern America and Europe, are the largest, existing affiliate to the Deer family and hold the prize as being Sweden’s most famous animal species. The moose are very solitary and nomadic creatures, and because of this characteristic trait, it is always possible to spot them roaming freely.

You have a greater chance of spotting a moose the further up North you are. Extensive forest land, marshlands and an abundance of shrubbery tick all of the boxes for a Moose’s ideal habitat. No wonder the species calls Bergslagen home, in this remote area of central Sweden

Sweden is home to almost 400,000 moose. A large proportion of those, an estimated 30, 000, live in the forests of Småland. Although there are various, small moose parks, many visitors prefer to explore the Swedish wilderness to witness the moose in its natural habitat.

White Moose

YouTube video

Also known as the ‘ghost moose’.

Despite the animal’s all-white appearance, it’s coloring does not result from albinism, a congenital condition that results in a loss of pigmentation. Cases of albinism in animals and in people result in light or pinkish colored eyes. Moose with bright white fur more commonly obtain this feature from a recessive gene that causes the animal to grow white with specks of brown—a condition referred to as piebald.

While it’s not common for people to see white moose, compared to their brown counterparts, videos of the animal have surfaced before.Mainly found on the border of Norway, province of Varmland.

#4 Arctic Fox

Sweden's wildlife captured : an arctic fox in winter

The arctic fox, Alopex lagopus, otherwise known as the polar fox, is one of Sweden’s most threatened mammals and in danger of extinction everywhere in the Europe.

More than a decade ago, the fjällräven, or arctic fox, in Scandinavia was on the brink of extinction. However the once dwindling population now begins to rise again. This ay be due to a joint Norwegian-Swedish feeding scheme.

The arctic fox doesn’t start to shiver until the temperature gets down to -70 degrees Celsius. They even have fur on the pads of their paws to help with insulation.

Their fur changes color from summer to winter to help with camouflage, so they can range from grayish brown to white or blue-gray. They’re such a symbol of nature here that a popular Swedish brand of backpacks and outdoor gear is named after them.

The arctic fox is an incredibly hardy animal that can survive frigid Arctic temperatures as low as –58°F in the treeless lands where it makes its home. It has furry soles, short ears, and a short muzzle—all-important adaptations to the chilly clime. Arctic foxes live in burrows, and in a blizzard they may tunnel into the snow to create shelter.

Beautiful Arctic fox of Sweden's wildlife

Despite being a predator in its ecosytem, the arctic fox is also a victim of predation. A number of conservation activities are underway to attempt to increase populations arctic foxes in Sweden, Norway and Finland and mitigate the factors which threaten their survival:

The assistance of volunteers, population and behavioral data for arctic foxes will help to obtain an understanding of behavioral patterns, to further monitor, conserve and protect future populations.

#5 Reindeer

Finest example of Sweden's wildlife is a reindeer

The reindeer, also known as the caribou in North America, is a species of deer with circumpolar distribution, native to Arctic, sub-Arctic, tundra, boreal, and mountainous regions of northern Europe, Siberia, and North America. This includes both sedentary and migratory populations.

Family: Cervidae
Order: Artiodactyla
Class: Mammalia
Height: 85 – 150 cm (Adult, At Shoulder)
Speed: 60 – 80 km/h (Running, North America population)
Scientific name: Rangifer tarandus
Mass: Male: 160 – 180 kg (Adult), Female: 80 – 120 kg (Adult)

Reindeer ( or caribou as they are known in North America) , are a species reminiscent of the Deer. But also reign the arctic and Scandinavian Europe. There are two varieties, or ecotypes: tundra reindeer and forest (or woodland) reindeer. The reindeer of the tundra migrate in numbers of up to hundreds of thousands covering as much as 5000 km in one seasonal migration.

A reindeer in Sweden

Wild reindeer disappeared from the Swedish mountains at the beginning of the 20th century, but in parts of Norway there are still populations of wild reindeer.

For generations the Sami have lived close to the reindeer which has meant that these animals have become largely used to humans. But the reindeer still retain their ancient need to roam freely and graze undisturbed. This needs to be remembered and respected by visitors.

The reindeer is the most important symbol of cultural identity for the Sami and it is also their most important resource. Reindeer have been employed as both pack and draught animals.

Their fur and hides have provided warmth and clothing. Reindeer meat is an essential ingredient of the Sami culinary tradition, and is a delicacy not to be missed. There is an ancient saying that tells of a promise made between the Sami and the reindeer – that they would take care of each other for ever.

Indigenous and sacred land known as the Sapmi; The land of the Sami, called Sápmi in their own language (parts of it also known as ‘Lapland’), spans Arctic Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia.

Sápmi is a land of snow-capped mountains, wild rivers, pristine lakes and streams, tundra and forest. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty, peace and quiet and is a perfect get-away-from-it-all destination.

Reindeer feel secure in herds. The reindeer are particularly vulnerable during their calving season in April/May. Extra consideration is also needed when large herds have grouped together.

#6 Brown Bear 

A beautiful Brown bear

The awe-inspiring brown bear lives in the forests and mountains of northern North America, Europe, and Asia. It is the most widely distributed bear in the world.

Mass: 80 – 600 kg (Adult)
Height: 70 – 150 cm (Adult, At Shoulder)
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Class: Mammalia
Scientific name: Ursus arctos
Lifespan: Grizzly bear: 20 – 25 years

The European Brown bear is found in the mountain woodlands which contrasts the tundra environment of the American-based brown bear.

Brown bear family of Sweden's wildlife

For bears you have to head north to the provinces of DalarnaGävleborgand Jämtland, which have the highest bear population density in the country.

Bears are shy, peaceful animals and you really do want a professional guide with you if you are going to spot one.

Brown bears live mostly in the northern parts of the country but are considered discrete and shy. Therefore it is difficult to spot them.

Summary : Wildlife of Sweden

Nature of Sweden: Sweden's wildlife

Sweden is for sure a destination to set nature-lovers sights’ on. From the hospitable people, historical and cultural roots to idyllic landscapes and endemic species, witnessing the wildlife of Sweden is a privilege.

If you enjoyed reading about timeless wildlife of Sweden , you might like to take a look at our Post corona travel in Europe blog too.

Let us know what you think and which animals you would love to encounter in the comment section below!

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