Bear Hunt Backlash, from Northern Sweden to Western U.S.

As the brown bear population continues to grow in Sweden, so does the number of available hunting permits. Administration in Jämtland, a north-west Swedish province, increased permits from 70 last year to 100 this year in hopes to ease the effects of bears on local reindeer. The impact of their predator-prey relationship is still being researched.

The brown bear population is estimated at 850 in Jämtland, exceeding both the conservation goal of 600 and the governmental-appointed target of 500-800 bears. Sweden’s brown bear hunt has been conducted each year since 1943, but criticisms of the annual hunt continue.

The Swedish Species Information Centre, a department of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, cites that hunting brought the bear back to extinction risk. They listed the species as threatened in their directory in 2015. The list describes one in five animal species in Sweden as endangered.

But bear hunt backlash is making headlines 5,000 miles to the west of Sweden as well. Critics have continued opposing Wyoming’s comeback grizzly hunt ever since the Yellowstone population was delisted in 2017.

Protestors are rounding up support to apply for permits with no intention of hunting the animals. They are vowing to take cameras, not guns on the adventure if selected. The Wyoming Department of Fish and Game says it is legal for anyone to apply for the hunting tags, so there is nothing they can do to stop the protest.

Wyoming has not seen a grizzly hunt in 44 years, read more about the journey from endangered bears to proposed 2018 hunting season here.


Sources: The Local Sweden and Wyoming News Exchange

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