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Wildlife of Sweden

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Welcome to the Wildlife of Sweden. Let’s jump right in!

Are you looking for an unforgettable experience? Experience the beautiful wildlife of Sweden with us.

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

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

wild sweden tour
Tented camp in Lapland © Wild Sweden

Select your favorite animal below to learn more about your famous wildlife in Sweden.

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 historical 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 a monarchy for over two thousand years, and this country is standing the test of time.

Sweden works hard to preserve its natural biodiversity, and strict environmental regulations enforce this. There are flourishing indigenous for, expansive size 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 many friends, you will find perfect spots next to caves to set up camps and light bonfires as you barbecue and sing the nights away. 

It would help if you took 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 differ 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 mighty north’s mountains to the temperate south’s white sandy beaches, we have space for everyone.

Wildlife of Sweden

Nature of Sweden: Sweden's wildlife

Sweden is an excellent place if you are passionate about wildlife. Besides moose, reindeer, deer, and various birds, which you can spot without too much effort, the nature 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 kilometer).

It means there is an expansive wilderness where the wildlife of Sweden has free reign, granting more opportunities to witness and experience animal encounters in Sweden than in 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 before 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 countries’ wolf numbers. Currently, 90 percent of this trans-border population lives in Sweden.

Conservation is essential due to genetic isolation resulting from 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 1960s. The wolves of Sweden: Initially, 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 and cultural history.

Wolves are social animals. They live in family groups, sometimes called packs. A family group typically consists of two parents and their pups. Most 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 babysits and remain close to the dogs of the younger generation.

#2 Lynx 

A lynx in Sweden yawning

A nomadic, nocturnal, and solitary animal is only socialized during the rutting season, in the first months of the year. They tend to hibernate until warmer temperatures 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- about 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 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 hunt mainly. Considered a skillful hunter, the lynx can eat various animals, from wild fowls to hares.

Since 1991, this feline creature has been protected in Sweden. Government agencies regulate the hunting of these animals by humans

#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, is the Deer family’s largest existing affiliate and holds the prize as being Sweden’s most famous animal species. The moose are 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 further up North. Extensive forest land, marshlands, and abundant shrubbery tick all 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, and 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

She was also known as the ‘ghost moose.’

Despite the animal’s all-white appearance, its coloring does not result from albinism, a congenital condition resulting a pigmentation loss. Cases of albinism in animals and 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. 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, or the polar fox, is one of Sweden’s most threatened mammals and is in danger of extinction everywhere in Europe.

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

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

Their fur changes color from summer to winter to help with camouflage so that they can range from grayish brown to white or blue-gray. They’re such a symbol of nature here that a famous 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 is home. It has furry soles, short ears, and a short muzzle—all-important adaptations to the chilly clime. Arctic foxes live in caves, and they may tunnel into the snow in a blizzard to create shelter.

Beautiful Arctic fox of Sweden's wildlife

Despite being a predator in its ecosystem, the arctic fox is also a victim of predation. Several conservation activities are underway to attempt to increase populations of 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 understand behavioral patterns and further monitor, conserve and protect future people.

#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 the Arctic, sub-Arctic, tundra, boreal, and mountainous regions 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 American population)
Scientific name: Rangifer tarandus
Mass: Male: 160 – 180 kg (Adult), Female: 80 – 120 kg (Adult)

Two Varieties

Reindeer ( or caribou as they are known in North America) is 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 there are still populations of wild reindeer in parts of Norway.

For generations, the Sami have lived close to the reindeer, meaning these animals have become used mainly to humans. But the reindeer still retain their ancient need to roam freely and graze undisturbed, and this needs to be remembered and respected by visitors.

The reindeer is the most important symbol of cultural identity for the Sami and 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. An ancient saying tells of a promise made between the Sami and the reindeer – that they would take care of each other forever.

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

Sápmi has snow-capped mountains, wild rivers, pristine lakes, streams, tundra, and forest. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty and peace 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.

#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, 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. These provinces have the highest bear population density in the country.

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

Brown bears live mainly in the country’s northern parts but are considered discrete and shy. Therefore it isn’t easy to spot them.

Summary of Wildlife of Sweden

YouTube video

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

If you enjoyed reading about the 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!

Thanks for following along with us. Next up, Discover Baby Foxes.

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