Image by Stéphane Kirouac
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Boreal forests provide the basis for two important parts of Inner Scandinavia’s cultural heritage, forestry and moose hunting, which are of great economic and cultural value in the region. During the last decades, moose population development in Scandinavia has varied greatly among areas, as a result of altered harvesting regimes, forestry practices, and the return of large carnivores. Large carnivores now form part of the region’s natural heritage. Where the natural and cultural heritages intersect, conflicts arise, such as human-carnivore competition for game, wolf-killed hunting dogs and damage to forest stands in areas of high moose densities.

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and transborder moose migration leads to an uneven distribution of income from the moose harvest and costs from browsing damage to forest stands. Still, management is inadequately coordinated between the countries, and largely focuses on individual species, not on a multispecies or ecosystem level. Good ecosystem management is based on mutual dialogue across administrative borders at different spatial scales, allowing for a mutual agreement on how to manage wildlife and forests. To achieve this, there is a great need for knowledge that addresses challenges in cross-border management of moose and carnivores, and increased dialogue and interaction across the national border.
 

Image by Eva Blue
Image by Hans Veth

The overall goal of Grensevilt is to provide a solid base for a better transnational, inclusive, conflict-reducing multispecies management of moose, wolves and wolverines in Inner Scandinavia, across the national border outside reindeer herding areas. The project has two main components:
 

  1. Building a science-based, management-relevant knowledge base to elucidate border-related issues regarding interactions between the cultural and natural heritage in Inner Scandinavia. The project will fill knowledge gaps that have consequences for transborder management of moose and carnivores, including effects of transborder moose migration, how various factors affect moose populations, predation on moose by a higher-density wolf population, wolverine ecology and influence on the moose population, and effects of humans and wolves on the return of the forest wolverine.

  2. Extensive networking and communication to facilitate a transnational, inclusive, conflict-reducing wildlife management. The main activity is the creation of a resource group representing Swedish and Norwegian landowners, managers, local communities, researchers, and stakeholders. This network will be a forum for open dialogue between stakeholders about current barriers for the transborder management of moose and carnivores. Based on knowledge and dialogue, the resource group will explore possible future scenarios for a better wildlife management.


Through a combination of new knowledge, networking and increased dialogue across the border, Grensevilt will reduce border barriers and lead to a more unified, integrated crossborder management of wildlife, and increased understanding among the target groups for the cultural and natural heritages and for different stakeholders’ perspectives in the management across the border. The project will lead to increased expertise in wildlife research and management in Inner Scandinavia, which will be transferrable to other border areas in Scandinavia and in Europe as well.

The past four years, important changes have happened in Inner Scandinavia. A 50 % drop in moose harvests in parts of the region coincides with increased wolf density and the wolverine’s return. However, there are great knowledge gaps regarding the effects of various factors on the moose harvest, consequences of a denser wolf population, and the ecology of forest wolverines.

Whereas wildlife move freely across administrative borders and their home ranges often span several administrative units, management is still characterized by administrative border barriers. In Inner Scandinavia, moose, wolves and wolverines are distributed across the national border,