125 brown bears were recorded in Norway in 2016, new numbers from Rovdata reveal. It is the lowest number of bears since the comprehensive monitoring was started in 2009.
The record low number may be due to a real decline in the population, a decline in collection efforts or simply less bear activity in checks have been performed, Rovdata stated.
The Number of brown bears in Norway is primarily measured by analyzing DNA from collected scats and hair. Tissue samples are also taken from dead animals. Most bears were as usual registered in Hedmark, Finnmark and Nord-Trøndelag.
Most bears live near Norway’s eastern borders, and probably spend most of the year in neighbouring countries.
– This means that there may be relatively large local variations in the number of individuals who are registered from one year to another.
The Norwegian bear population, particularly in the border area to Sweden, is strongly affected by what happens on the other side of the border, according to the head of Rovdata, Jonas Kindberg.
The Parliament has declared a wish for approximately 13 litters of cubs to be born annually in Norway. Findings from Rovdata indicate that there are currently only born 6 cubs a year.
Last year was the eighth consecutive year of national sampling. The decline is slightly down from the year before. In 2015 a total of 128 bears were registered.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today