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Norway at a glance

Norway shares a wolf population with Sweden, which causes occasional fluctuations in both country’s wolf numbers. Currently, 10 percent of this transborder population lives in Norway. Due to cultural conflicts with wolves in northern Sweden, this Scandinavian population is very isolated genetically.

This population is managed separately by Norway and Sweden. Norway is not a member of the European Union whereas Sweden is, which creates differences and challenges in managing this shared population.

The main threat to wolf survival in Norway is poaching. Main prey for wolves here are ungulates and livestock. Wolf range is approximately 5 percent of the map shown and is 95 percent on privately owned land. Range is in the southeastern edge of the map near Oslo; lines are not depicted on the map above.

According to the Norwegian Environment Agency, “The original Scandinavian wolf population died out during the 1960s. The wolves found in Norway and Sweden today are descended from a small number of animals from the Finnish-Russian population that dispersed as far as southern Scandinavia in the 1980s and 1990s. The wolf is red-listed as critically endangered in Norway today.”

Species Information

Common Names: gray wolf, ulv (Norwegian)
Latin Name: Canis lupus

Common Name:
Latin Name: Canis lupus lupus

Current Wolf Population, Trend, Status
Number of wolves: Shares a population of 430 with Sweden (10 to 15 percent live in Norway). According to the Norwegian Environment Agency: “In winter 2016–17, the monitoring programme showed that there were around 430 wolves in Scandinavia. There were 46 packs and 28 scent-marking pairs. 54-56 wolves were classified with territories entirely in Norway, 51-56 with territories straddling the Norwegian-Swedish border. This gives a total of 105-112 observed wolves fulltime or partly staying in Norway.”
Population trend: Stable/Increasing
Legal protection: Listed as ‘critically endangered,’ but proposals surface that would permit hunting. Poaching is a prevalent cause of death.

Most recent data available: 2018

Additional Information

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