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Sweden's brown bear population is at risk

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Sweden's brown bear population is at risk
A Swedish brown bear. Photo: TT
12:49 CEST+02:00
Sweden's brown bear population is dwindling according to a report looking into the future of some of the nation's most iconic animals.

For Swedes and tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of brown bears in their natural Nordic habitat, chances are becoming slimmer.

The Swedish Species Information Centre (Lantbruksverket) has announced that the brown bear is once again at risk of becoming extinct, after previously dropping off the centre's annual "red" watchlist.

The centre has reclassified the brown bear as an endangered species, citing hunting as the primary cause of the declining population.  

Under Swedish law it is legal to hunt the animals between August and October and in recent years this has been actively encouraged to help control growing numbers of the creatures.

In 2013 for example, Sweden's brown bear population was culled by around 10 percent to keep the population at around 3,000, roughly in line with the culls of previous years.

The Swedish Species Information Centre's "red list" report for 2015 states that one in five animal species in Sweden are endangered. This translates as 4,273 out of a total of 21,600 types of animal, fungi and plants in the country.

Since 2010, the number of endangered species has increased by 3.6 percent, according to the study.

The centre distinguishes between four different threat levels for these creatures: 'threatened', 'vulnerable', 'endangered' and 'critically endangered'

The brown bear is now classified as 'threatened'.

Another species that appears to be dying out in Sweden is the lynx, which was classified as 'vulnerable' in the Swedish Species Information Centre's report.

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