About the Scandinavian Brown Bear Research Project
The Project started 1984 in Sarek National Park in Norrbotten and 1985 in Dalarna-Hälsingland. In 1987 the project became a Swedish-Norwegian collaboration and the southern study areas were expanded into parts of Hedmark
Study areas and landscape
The project has two study areas. One area is near Jokkmok in Northern Sweden and the second area is in Hälsingland-Dalarna in Central Sweden and Southeastern Hedmark in Norway. We mark bears and conduct intensive research within the red areas. The red lines enclose the areas where bears marked within the red striped areas have been during the study period.
Aims and Goals
Aims and Goals of the Scandinavian Brown Bear Research Project are:
- to document the basic ecology of the Scandinavian Brown Bear
- to provide authorities with data and recommendations regarding the Scandinavian Brown Bear
- to inform authorities and public on the Scandinavian Brown Bear
The main aim is to conduct research on how the bear colonialises new areas by following the movements of young bears in relation to their place of birth and to collect information about reproduction and mortality which relate to changes in the bear population. This kind of data is important for managers and will be indespensable at the time the bear population must be stabilized. In addition we aim to understand the life history of the Scandinavian brown bear, using our individual-based long-term data set.
Radio Marked Bears
Bears have been immobilized every year since the project started in 1984. Up to and including 2004, we have immobilized bears 1,083 times. Totally 456 individuals have been immobilized and individually marked, and of these, 339 bears have received a radio transmitter. The reason there are many more immobilizations than bears, is that we immobilize many of them at about 3-year intervals to change the transmitter, because the batteries loose their charge.
Each year we loose some bears. Usually they are shot during the hunting season, but it is also not uncommon that they loose their collar containing the radio transmitter or that young bears are killed by older bears.
Much of the knowledge gained by the project is based on the data from the 1032 ”bear-years” that we have followed individual bears. (A ”bear-year” is following a radio-marked bear for 12 months, or two bears for 6 months each, etc.). During 2004, we followed 95 radio-marked bears to their dens.