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:
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
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