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Annual hunt to cull 300 brown bears in Sweden

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Annual hunt to cull 300 brown bears in Sweden
15:11 CEST+02:00
Sweden’s annual bear hunt begins Tuesday, with over 300 of Sweden’s brown bears to be killed over the next two months in an effort to control the predator’s population figures.

The 312 bears, a figure which equates to roughly 10 percent of Sweden’s bear population, will be professionally hunted in the period between August 21st and October 15th.

In County Västerbotten in northern Sweden, the bear population is estimated to be somewhere around 300, and 25 bears are to be killed there this season.

Michael Schneider, an expert on predators at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket), is responsible for the bear culling in Västerbotten.

“There is a long list of conditions that the Västerbotten hunters must meet if they wish to take part in the hunt. The terms are there to avoid adverse effects and to evaluate the hunt afterwards,” he told the Västerbottens Kuriren newspaper.

The hunt, together with traffic accidents and deaths in self-defense, is expected to lower the bear’s population by 10 percent – meaning the county’s bear population has not grown this year.

“We’ve succeeded in maintaining the bear population well over the past few years. The results we’ve had from the spore inventory in 2009 shows that we are keeping the population at roughly the same level since 2004,” explains Björn Jonsson, head of conservation in the area, to the paper.

TT/The Local/og

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