The Wolf Group is dedicated to the preservation of vital, free-ranging populations of carnivores (mainly wolves, bears, lynxes, wolverines and arctic foxes) in Scandinavia.

  • What is The Wolf Group
  • The Main Activities of The Wolf Group
  • Recent History of the wolf in Sweden



  • The Wolf Group of Sweden and the situation of the big four (wolf, bear, lynx, wolverine) in Sweden, Norway and Finland.

    Föreningen Varggruppen is dedicated to the preservation of vital, free-ranging populations of carnivores (mainly wolves, bears, lynxes, wolverines and arctic foxes) in Scandinavia. Our efforts are concentrated on public information and on lobbying the authorities. The organization was founded in 1983 by a number of people who came together to study wolves and wolf behaviour. Many of them were working at the Skansen Zoo in Stockholm. During the first years activities and members were mainly concentrated in Stockholm, but now members are more evenly distributed over Sweden and activities take place in many places outside Stockholm. Today the number of members is about 1,800. Until Spring 1995 Varggruppen worked only with wolves. Discussions are just now going on with another Swedish organization, Föreningen Våra Rovdjur, which like us deals with all carnivores and raptors, about closer cooperation and possibly a merger.





    The main activities of Föreningen Varggruppen are:

    1. A newsletter published quarterly containing news about wolves and other carnivores in Scandinavia and abroad. The newsletter is sent to members, to some authorities and persons involved in carnivore conservation and to some hunters´ organizations. A short summary in English is sent to some of our contacts abroad.
    2. Two exhibits (one about wolves and the other one about wolf, bear, lynx an wolverine) with which we participate at dog shows, wildlife fairs etc. We try to answer peoples´ questions, sell books, cards, stickers etc.
    3. Lectures with colour slides.
    4. Slide show for hire/loan.
    5. Articles in newspapers.
    6. Lobbying authorities in Sweden and abroad for better protection/management of carnivores. We have devoted a great deal of time to wolf protection in Finland.
    7. Wolf tracking. Experienced trackers take members and others out to track wolves and lynxes.
    8. Answer questions from people interested in wolves.
    9. Supporting a newly established wolf group in Finland.






    RECENT HISTORY OF THE WOLF IN SWEDEN

    The Swedish wolf population has been very scarce since at least the 1940´s. The last known litters before the boom in the 80´s were born in 1964 and 1978 in the far north of the country. Most of these wolves were rapidly killed, some legally and some illegally. In the winter 1979-80 there was only one officially known wolf left in Sweden.

    In the winter 1980-81 reports started coming from Värmland and Dalarna in south-central Sweden. In 1982 a male and a female wolf were tracked. They were not in company in the winter but obviously met later, because in the winter of 1983 they were seen together and later in the spring a litter of six pups was born in northern Värmland. This may have been the first litter this century south of the reindeer-management area. Thereafter several litters have been born in this area. The last few years it is very uncertain whether any pups have been born, but there are still a number of wolves in their old territory.

    A lone female wolf was observed in southern Jämtland for a couple of years until, in 1991, she met a male and had pups in 1991, 1992 and 1993. In the winter of 1994 the alpha-male disappeared. This pack is now dissolved and only one wolf, possibly the old alfa-female, remains.

    In southern Dalarna and south-eastern Värmland a new pack was formed in 1992-93. They had pups for the first time in 1993. In 1994 there may have been two litters (= two packs) in this area (We are not sure whether the wolves observed were one and the same pack or two different packs).

    In 1995 two litters were born. One in south-eastern Värmland and one in Dalarna (a new pack). Their territories have a common border and this year we are sure there are two packs. The possible second territory in 1994 lies south of the new territory in 1995 and either this pack is dissolved in 1995 or there was only one pack which this year does not roam all the territory they used in 1994. We know that the new pack in 1995 really is new because the alfa-pair was tracked also in the winter 1994/95. In the late winter 1995/96 we estimated the wolf population in Sweden at 35-40 animals.

    (More information available at their web site)



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