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The Study Area


The Scandinavian Brown Bear Project conducts most of it field-based work in two different regions in Scandinavia. 


The Southern Study Area (latitude ~61° - 62°) encompasses a ~20,000 km2 area in Dalarna, Gävleborg, and Jämtland Counties (elevation 200 – 1000 m). The Southern Study Area covers the core of Sweden’s southernmost brown bear population. The Northern Study Area (latitude ~66° - 67°) was located in Norrbotten County, but has been inactive since 2013.


Both regions are generally hilly landscapes consisting of intensively managed boreal forest, dominated by Scots pine (Pinus silvestris) and Norway spruce (Picea abies), interspersed with large bogs and lakes. Ericaceous heather (Ericaceae sp.) and berry-producing shrubs dominate the understory, with lichen co-dominating in the north and grasses in the south. 


The southern region is considered core brown bear range in Scandinavia, and bear densities are higher here than in the northern study area. The human population in the north is relatively low compared to the south, with fewer human settlements and less infrastructure in the north than the south. Large parts of the forest are subject to intensive forestry in both study areas.

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