We walked silently through the forest trying to take in the sounds of nature. Each crunch of leaves echoed within my ears and then I heard a sudden jump behind the trees. Sweden wildlife has awakened. A deer quickly ran away as we drew closer to the area. Another time, I was on my daily walk in the forest with my old best buddy who’s a doggie and my two cats. In the distance, I caught a glimpse of antlers that looked more like shovels. A huge brown mass stared back a me. His brown eyes matched his chestnut fur. The moose stood tall, the king of the forest. But as I took a step, he vanished through the trees. It’s so magical seeing wildlife out in nature! Now, there’s even a moose park that you can venture to in Sweden!
Since Sweden has a variety of nature, that means there’s also an abundance of Sweden wildlife. A tenth of Sweden is covered with wilderness, making the best place for outdoor lovers. Hiking trails are in an abundance throughout the country and the nature holds so many magical places. You can wander in swampy areas, to taking on the highest mountain, Kebnekaise in Sweden. As the wilderness changes, so does the kinds of animals that reside there. It’s common to see moose in forests, while beavers tend to stay near water. If you’re lucky enough to take in the wonders of a wild animal out in nature, don’t forget respect. They are wild and it’s best to keep your distance.
Fur scuffs off of their antlers as they scrape them against trees. A herd of reindeer scatter across the road in northern Sweden as we drive to Kebnekaise. It was herds after herds for hours on end. Technically, there are no wild reindeer. It’s the Sami people that raise them and then let them roam free in the northern forests of Sweden. Unlike the red deer or the other deer in Sweden, reindeer males and females both have antlers. They have thicker coats than other deer and their hooves help them dig in the winter. Calves are usually born in May or June.
This is the largest predator in Sweden. But, don’t worry, their sort of meal involves berries, ants, shrubs, and possibly voles and salmon. These guys are hard to see out in the wild since they’re shy creatures. The brown bear hibernates once it becomes winter and comes back out in the spring. Every 2-3 years, cubs are born in the nature. Right before berry season in May or June is the best time to catch a glimpse of the peaceful animal roaming in meadows. Dalarna, Gävleborg, and Jämtland are known for being the best habitats for bears. So, these areas would be most likely to spot the giant ball of fur.
It’s an extraordinary thing to see a wolf in the wild. That’s why when I was lucky enough to see a lone wolf, my hubby thought I was a liar. The wolf’s pelt looked thick and as I stared at him from my car window, it felt like time had stopped. Since I live outside of town, nature surrounds me. I’m lucky to get to witness a lot of Sweden wildlife. Once, my hubby saw that same wolf, he filled with a sadness for that wolf. I didn’t understand until he explained to me that it was highly likely that someone will shoot that lone wolf, even though he wasn’t harming anyone. In Sweden, people are split on their thoughts about wolves. Half love them and think they should be left alone, while the others think that they’re a pest that keeps eating the livestock. So, if you don’t want to get into a heated argument with someone in Sweden, then don’t bring up how they feel about wolves if you disagree with them.
Usually wolves stay in a pack of about 10-15 and hunt together in the fall and winter since they’re social animals. In the summertime, wolves may hunt in pairs or solo. Back in the 1980s, wolves were reintroduced to Sweden since they had been hunted to extinction sometime in the 1960s. Their warm furs could be profitable for hunters and having them away helped keep the livestock untouched. There are roughly 300-400 wolves in Sweden.
This majestic creature lives in northern and northwestern Sweden hilly and mountainous areas. With its stark white coat, winter times are the hardest times to spot them. Another thing that makes it difficult, is that they are an endangered species. There’s only about 150 of them in all of Sweden. There’s Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve that protects the artic foxes who reside here. Many of the areas that are their territory can’t be reached by car. Even with walking, it can be difficult. Other names for this beautiful animal is the white fox, polar fox, or snow fox. When it’s summertime, this fox’s fur changes color into a grayish-brown. They eat lemmings, eggs, carrions, and berries as their food source.
The most common places in Sweden with Beavers are central Sweden in the lakes and rivers. Since beavers are nocturnal and aware of humans, it can make it hard to spot them. But look out for a beaver dam, that’s their home. These creatures create a beaver dam out of branches and trees in lakes and rivers. It becomes their home and they fix it up regularly. Sunset near their dam or lodge is a good time that you can possibly catch a glimpse of a beaver scurrying out of its hole. Or if you want to see them by boat, they will not think you’re a threat since they have no enemies in water. This animal was actually extinct. So, Norway reintroduced the beaver to Sweden wildlife. Thus, there are a lot of beavers at around 150,000.
Many may think of wild boars and big pigs. Well, that’s pretty much what they are. They’re called wild boars and wild pigs. They mostly reside in southern Sweden and Södermanland is a good place to be on the lookout for these creatures. These are another animal that’s a social breed. They like to stick together and the best time to see them is at dusk or dawn. Their groups can be 6-20. Since wild boars are omnivores, you’d think that they eat a lot of meat. But in actuality, their diet is vegetables and other sources 90% of the time. A herd of wild boars can ruin trees and crops. But when they’re messing with the roots, they’re helping make the nutrient cycle happen quicker in the soil.
These huge majestic animals are throughout Sweden. Though, they can be hard to be seen since they blend in so well with the forest. Moose use their hearing more than their eyes. If you want to see them, you’ll need to hike silently. The best places to see them is during summer evenings in open areas. That’s the time they’re looking for food. Elk is another name that these animals are called in British English, while in the USA, an elk is a whole other kind of animal. Moose are the largest mammal and king of the forest in Sweden wildlife. There can be around 300,000-4000,000 moose within Sweden. This just depends on what time of the season it is.
If you’re interested in learning more about moose and seeing them up close, check out Värmland Moose Park. I have an article where I explain more about the place and what’s in store for a visitor!
Out of the mammals, the lynx is just about the hardest to ever see. The breed in Sweden is the largest out of four lynx species in the whole world. This animal is the biggest cat within Europe and resides throughout Sweden. Plus, it’s the only wild cat species in the country. They live in the dense forests and it’s more likely to get a quick glance of one in the trees near the beginning of daylight. There is over 1,300 lynx and it has been increasing. Since they’re skillful hunters, they’ve caught hare to reindeer.
This is an animal that’s from the mustelids family which is the same family for otters and badgers. The wolverine is more than just a character from a movie or a cartoon, it’s a ruthless wild creature. A wolverine is a shy animal and is still threatened in Sweden wildlife. There has been estimated that about 450 of the species resides in Sweden. You’d be pretty lucky if you saw a wolverine. But if you want to try, start looking in the mountainous areas especially in the winter. The snowy ground makes them stick out with their brownish black fur.
Have you been wanting to get closer to nature? Do you want to try and catch a glimpse of Sweden wildlife? Then, check out Wildlife Safari in Stockholm. It takes about 4 hours you’ll get to enjoy a beautiful sunset while an expert guides you on a tour to spotting wild animals.
Or check out a 5 hour day trip from Stockholm. In this tour, you get to try a smokey dinner by a campfire. Then after learning about what animals you could possibly see; this tour begins to journey into the wilderness.
The best places for seeing Sweden wildlife is in the Nature Reserves or on the less traveled paths. Explore some of the areas and get a thrill off of the less known parts of Sweden. There are canoe trips that you can have in several places within Sweden as well! Check out Adventures in Sweden for more!