Monitoring of Large Carnivores: Background

The central administrative authorities in the environmental field in both Sweden and Norway have common needs for high knowledge regarding carnivore populations, which to a large extent are shared on the Scandinavian Peninsula. Within this context, the use of molecular biology is an important complement to other survey methods.

It is of great importance that the analysis results give as much information as possible to the authorities and that they have full access to the overall material and related results. National authorities also have a common need for genetic research expertise in the interpretation of analysis results and analytical methods. The interest is not just limited to the analysis of raw data.

The two authorities have developed an essential coordination when it comes to inventory methodology and damage documentation. This is documented in Rovbase. The authorities have also for many years developed a prolific collaboration between the research projects.

The authorities are responsible, within their respective countries, for the process of managing large carnivores. This responsibility includes knowledge of number and distribution, the reproduction of predators, causes of their death and predator damage to domestic animals and other inconveniences. The responsibility also includes ensuring the long-term survival of the species and keeping their genetic variation.

The management of large carnivores includes mainly inventory of predator abundance, managing reimbursements and grants to compensate for or prevent damages, inspection of legally killed carnivores, taking care of animals that are found dead (state game) and legal trade in these animals and animal parts. Illegal hunting and illegal trade also occurs in these species. Several authorities are directly affected by predator management in which the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency / Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management has the main responsibility. Other authorities in Sweden are The County Administrative Boards, the Sami Parliament, The Swedish Board of Agriculture, National Veterinary Institute (SVA), The Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM), The Swedish Customs and The Police, The Swedish National Laboratory of Forensic Science (SKL) and The Swedish Prosecution Authority and the corresponding authorities / institutions in Norway.

In addition, the research projects on large carnivores contribute with knowledge and materials.