The best place in the world for white-tailed ea­gles is NOR­WAY

Scan­di­navia

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - 4 -

Brown bears are so closely as­so­ci­ated with the great wilder­nesses of North Amer­ica such as Bri­tish Columbia or Kam­chatka in the Rus­sian Far East that it’s some­times easy to for­get they’re also found in Europe and were na­tive to Bri­tain un­til about 1,500 years ago.

There are small, iso­lated pop­u­la­tions in coun­tries such as France, Italy and Spain, and larger ones across the Carpathian Moun­tains and the Balkan states, but per­haps the stand­out re­gion for brown bears in Europe is Scan­di­navia. In both Fin­land and Swe­den, the prin­ci­ple is that in­stead of look­ing for the bears, they come to you. Their nat­u­ral habi­tat there is the re­gion’s vast conifer forests, but build a ba­sic wooden hide and put out some bait, and all you have to do is wait.

The bear sea­son runs from April un­til Novem­ber and some com­pa­nies rec­om­mend 3–5 day vis­its to give you the best chance of see­ing them.

PREY ITEMS Hunt deer and moose and feed on car­casses, but 70 per cent of diet is fruit, plants and in­sects.

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