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Report2022Open access

Inventering av varg vintern 2021-2022

Wabakken, Petter; Svensson, Linn; Maartmann, Erling; Nordli, Kristoffer; Flagstad, Øystein; Åkesson, Mikael


Monitoring goals and methods:
Wolves in Sweden and Norway are members of a joint cross-boundary Scandinavian wolf population. In both countries, the wolf population is being monitored each winter. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the Norwegian Environment Agency have joint Scandinavian guidelines and instructions for monitoring of wolves; these guidelines have been used since winter 2014-2015.
Numbers, distribution and trends in the wolf population in Scandinavia are primarily determined through a survey of family groups, scent-marking pairs and reproductions during 1 October - 31 March. The survey of wolves is done mainly through snow-tracking and DNA-analyses of scats, urine and hair. Information from camera-traps, GPS-collars, other research data and dead wolves are used when available. The County Administrative Boards in Sweden and the Norwegian Nature Inspectorate (SNO) together with Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences are responsible for collecting field data. They also confirm reports of tracks and other observations by the public. For the wolf monitoring, contributions from the public are very important.

Number of family groups and scent-marking pairs:
During winter 2021-2022, 55 family groups were documented in Scandinavia; 42 within Sweden, nine across the Norwegian-Swedish border and four within Norway. 28 territorial pairs were confirmed; 23 within Sweden, none across the border and five within Norway.

Population size:
Using the same method as last winter and based on the number of reproductions (the number of reproductions is multiplied by 10), Scandinavian wolf numbers were estimated to 540 (95% CI = 427-702). The Swedish sub-population was estimated to 460 wolves (95% CI = 364-598), including half of the cross-boundary wolves. The calculations include both alive and dead wolves during the monitoring period. In the smaller Norwegian sub-population, 88-91 wolves were counted in the field, including half of the 74-77 cross-boundary wolves and 51-52 wolves confirmed only in Norway.

Two previously known Finnish-Russian wolves were still resident within the populations breeding range, one now non-breeding female in a Swedish pack and one breeding male in a new-established Norwegian pack. During the winter 2021-2022, six F1 pups were confirmed in the immigrant male pack in Norway. Also, two new Finnish-Russian immigrant wolves were confirmed in northern Sweden. In addition, 15 F1 offspring were documented, all in Sweden and all born before 2021 and raised by three known Finnish-Russian immigrants. Among these, 12 were resident as scent-marking wolves in family groups or pairs.

The estimated average inbreeding coefficient in family groups was 0.24 (0.09 SD) this winter, a slight increase compared to last years monitoring season (0.23 ± 0.09 SD).


Wolf Canis lupus; family groups; litter of pups; monitoring; population trend; population size; scent-marking pairs; Scandinavia

Published in

Bestandsstatus for store rovdyr i Skandinavia
2022, number: 2022:1eISBN: 978-82-426-4936-2Publisher: Rovdata

      SLU Authors

    • Associated SLU-program

      Wildlife Damage Centre

      Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG15 Life on land

      UKÄ Subject classification


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