Animals in Sweden

Updated: June 7, 2021
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Below you can find a complete list of Swedish animals. We currently track 241 animals in Sweden and are adding more every day!

Sweden is a Scandinavian country on the coast of the Baltic Sea. It borders Norway to the west and Finland to the east. It is the third-largest country in Europe, but it has the second-lowest population density. Sweden’s weather is milder than the weather of other Scandinavian countries.

Its temperatures range from cool and humid in its southern lowlands to subarctic in its northern mountain ranges. Its location on the Arctic Circle means it has long, harsh winters. There are many wild, open spaces in Sweden. It has vast expanses of unspoiled forests and scenic Alpine lakes.

The Official National Animal of Sweden

Sweden’s national animal is the Eurasian elk (Alces alces), which is known as a moose in American English. The moose is the largest member of the New World deer family. Unlike other deer, moose are solitary and don’t travel in herds.

The moose’s thick skin and dense fur allow it to thrive in cold temperatures. Moose travel long distances to find the food they need. Moose are not endangered in Sweden. There are 300,000 to 400,000 of them, and the government permits hunting of them to control populations.

The reindeer is important culturally to the indigenous Sami people who live in Finland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden. They were formerly known as Laplanders, but they consider that name offensive now. Although they are wild, reindeer are treated as domestic animals by the Sami, who herd them, use them for work and sell their meat. The Sami believe they and the reindeer have a pact to take care of each other forever.

Where To Find the Top Wild Animals in Sweden

Most wildlife is easy to spot in Sweden. If you hike in the forests, you are likely to encounter moose, but keep a respectful distance. They prefer to forage in the early evenings.

You can see beavers in most lakes and rivers in Sweden. Beavers are nocturnal. Traveling by boat at sunset allows you to come upon them as they’re building and fishing. If you see gnaw marks on nearby trees, you are probably near a beaver lodge.

Wolves are shy and difficult to spot. They live in densely forested areas. You can often hear them howling when you hike or camp. Some professional guides offer tours of the forests where you may spot these elusive creatures. Wolves are a protected species in Sweden.

Arctic foxes live in the northern mountains near Norway. They live in remote, hilly areas that most people and cars can’t reach. There is a guided tour on Helags Mountain that allows you to watch their dens from a distance.

The lynx is even shyer than the wolf. Although there is a large, healthy population of Eurasian lynxes in every part of Sweden, they are excellent at staying out of human sight. Lynxes are active at dusk and in the early morning hours. Some people have spotted a lynx while driving around the edge of the forest at sunrise.

Sweden has 30 national parks. Farnebofjarden National Park is a gorgeous place to see otters and other marine animals. It is on the Dalalven River and is a protected wetlands area. You can spot all kinds of wildlife visiting the river for a drink.

Abisko National Park is home to Scandinavia’s largest alpine lake. It is a wondrously scenic place to spot arctic foxes, reindeer, Eurasian elk, and lemmings.

The Most Dangerous Animals in Sweden Today

Sweden’s largest predators are the brown bear, wolf, and lynx. It also has wolverines, wild boars and moose. These animals can all be dangerous when provoked, but there are very few recorded attacks on humans.

Endangered Animals in Sweden

  • The European bison (Bison bonasus) is listed as near threatened in Sweden.
  • The European otter (Lutra lutra), also known as European otter and Old World otter, lives in Sweden’s lakes and rivers. Unlike sea otters, European otters don’t live in the water. Hunting caused otters to become nearly extinct, but otter populations are now recovering in many parts of Europe. 
  • Muskox (Ovibos moschatus) were almost extinct, but they have been reintroduced in Sweden. Wild boars were also hunted to extinction in Sweden, but they have been reintroduced and are now rated “least concern” for wildlife conservation status.
  • The fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), also known as finback whale, is the second largest species after the blue whale. It was hunted almost to extinction and has been slow to recover. The International Whaling Commission has outlawed commercial hunting of the fin whale, but Iceland and Japan continue to hunt it.
  • Two bat species are almost extinct in Sweden. The pond bat (Myotis dasycneme) is a medium-sized bat that nests near areas of water. Bechstein’s bat (Myotis bechsteini) is a long-eared bat that roosts in trees. It is one of the most rare and endangered bats in the world.

Sweden’s Unique Animals

Sweden’s scenic landscapes are home to many of the world’s most beautiful animals, including lynxes, arctic foxes, gray wolves and otters. Majestic elk, bears and wild boars roam the forests, and whales and seals swim in the oceans. Sweden has made a commitment to conserving its unique wildlife. Most of these animals enjoy healthy, stable populations in their wild natural habitats. With care and conservation, these magnificent animals will continue to thrive.

Swedish Animals

Angelshark

The angelshark’s range has contracted by more than 80% in the past century.

Angora Ferret

Was created as an accident.

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Arctic Char

Arctic char is the northern-most fish; no other fish lives anywhere further north!

Arctic Fox

Extremely thick winter fur!

Armyworm

They are so named because they "march" in armies of worms from one crop to another in search of food

Asian Lady Beetle

Asian lady beetles infest indoor spaces, but they do not reproduce indoors.

Aurochs

Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!

Avocet

Has a curved, upturned beak!

Badger

Can reach speeds of 30 km/h!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.

Bat

Detects prey using echolocation!

Beaver

Builds a dam from sticks and leaves!

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs feed for 4-12 minutes.

Bee

Rock paintings of bees date back 15,000 years

Beetle

There are more than 350,000 different species

Bird

Not all birds are able to fly!

Biscuit Beetle

The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Brown-banded Cockroach

Females glue egg cases to furniture

Brown Bear

A dominant predator in it's environment!

Brown Dog Tick

Can live its entire life indoors

Bumblebee

The most common species of bee!

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 17,500 species!

Camel Cricket

The camel crickets that are found in the USA are light brown in color. They also have dark streaks all over their body.

Caribou

Males and females grow antlers

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!

Cat

First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!

Caterpillar

The larvae of a moth or butterfly!

Catfish

There are nearly 3,000 different species!

Centipede

There are about 3,000 documented species!

Chamois

Natively found in the European mountains!

Chicken

First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Codling Moth

Pupae are able to undergo diapause to survive poor fruit yield years and winter.

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

Common European Adder

European adders are the only snake that lives above the Arctic Circle.

Common Frog

Found throughout the European continent!

Common Furniture Beetle

The common furniture beetle feeds exclusively on wood

Common House Spider

House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.

Common Loon

Also known as the Great Northern Diver

Common Raven

A group of ravens is called an unkindness or a conspiracy.

Common Toad

Most active in wet weather!

Cow

There are nearly 1.5 million worldwide!

Crab

There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings

Crane

Many are critically endangered species!

Cricket

Male crickets can produce sounds by rubbing their wings together

Crow

A group of these birds is called a Murder.

Deer

There are around 40 different species!

Dog

First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Dog Tick

Dog ticks feed on dogs and other mammals

Donkey

First domesticated 5,000 years ago!

Dormouse

Found in Europe, Africa and Asia!

Dragonfly

It's larvae are carnivorous!

Drever

Uncommon outside of Europe!

Duck

Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight

Eagle

Has exceptional eyesight!

Earthworm

They are hermaphrodites, which means they have male and female organs

Earwig

There are nearly 2,000 different species!

Edible Frog

Are known to guard the muddy banks!

Eel

Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!

Eider

Eiders are sexually dimorphic, with males being larger and more colorful.

Ermine

A very bold and ferocious predator!

Eurasian Bullfinch

The shy eurasian bullfinch prefers to forage very close to cover.

Eurasian Jay

The Eurasian jay has the ability to mimic other sounds

Eurasian Nuthatch

Its song has been compared to a toy horn.

European Goldfinch

They are frequent visitors to backyard feeders, especially those containing niger seeds.

European Robin

Male robins are so aggressive and territorial that they will attack their own reflections.

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

Fallow deer

The fallow deer has more variation in its coat colors than most other deer.

False Widow Spider

False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders

Ferret

Ferrets can be trained to do tricks like dogs!

Fire-Bellied Toad

Found across mainland Europe and Asia!

Firefly

The firefly produces some of the most efficient light in the world

Flea

Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air

Fly

There are more than 240,000 different species!

Flying Squirrel

Can glide up to 90 meters!

Fox

There are 12 different species in the world!

Frog

There are around 7,000 different species!

Fruit Fly

Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world

German Cockroach

The most common type of urban roach

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!

Gnat

Males form large mating swarms at dusk

Goat

Most closely related to the Sheep!

Goldcrest

The goldcrest never starts moving and needs to consume for most of the day to survive. Therefore, in the colder months, it's best that eat 90% a day.

Golden Eagle

Their calls sound like high-pitched screams, but they are quiet most of the time.

Golden Oriole

Migrates between Europe and Asia!

Goose

There are 29 different species!

Grasshopper

There are 11,000 known species!

Grey Heron

Male grey herons are picky about their mates. They'll reject a female that they don't fancy.

Gypsy Moth

One of the most invasive species in the world

Hamster

Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!

Hare

Can reach speeds of over 40 mph!

Hawk Moth Caterpillar

Many hawk moth caterpillars eat toxins from plants, but don’t sequester them the way milkweed butterflies do. Most toxins are excreted.

Hedgehog

Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!

Heron

Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Highland Cattle

Natively found in the Scottish Highlands!

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!

Honey Buzzard

Honey buzzards are medium-sized raptors that earned their names by raiding the nests of bees and wasps.

Hoopoe

Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!

Horse

Has evolved over 50 million years!

Horsefly

Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.

Housefly

The fly has no teeth

Human

Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!

Huntsman Spider

Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jumping Spider

Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies

King Eider

The species name, spectabilis, is Latin for “showy” or “remarkable,” referencing the attractiveness of the adult male’s plumage.

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Leech

Has 10 pairs of eyes!

Lemming

Does not hibernate during the bitter Arctic winter!

Linnet

While linnets are monogamous during mating season, they do not mate for life. While breeding pairs are together, the males are highly territorial and will defend the nesting site and the surrounding area.

Lizard

There are around 5,000 different species!

Loach

Have sharp spines below their eyes

Locust

Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Long-Eared Owl

Ear tufts make it look bigger!

Long-Tailed Tit

Often hangs upside down while feeding!

Magpie

They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!

Marsh Frog

Has bright green skin!

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Mealybug

They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.

Merganser

They line their nests with their feathers

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Mole

Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

Mongrel

Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Moorhen

Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!

Moose

Renews it's enormous antlers every year!

Mosquito

Only the female mosquito actually sucks blood

Moth

There are 250,000 different species!

Mouse

Found on every continent on Earth!

Mule

The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!

Natterjack

Can lay up to 7500 eggs

Neanderthal

Roamed Asia and Europe for around 100,000 years!

Newt

Able to regrow lost or damaged limbs!

Night Heron

When they feel threatened juvenile night herons vomit their stomach contents.

Nightingale

Named more than 1,000 years ago!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Norrbottenspets

Getting your hands on one of these pups might be a challenging task. At one point, the breed was on the brink of extinction.

Old House Borer

Depending on the habitat and climate, these beetles can live between 2 to 10 years, often staying in their larval stage for several years, making them extremely dangerous to wooden structures.

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males

Ortolan Bunting

The tradition of hiding your face with a napkin or towel while eating this bird was begun by a priest who was a friend of the great French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.

Osprey

They reuse nesting sites for 70 years!

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Owl

The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth

Pheasant

Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!

Pig

Thought to have been domesticated in 9,000 BC!

Pigeon

They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.

Pika

Found in mountainous regions and rocky areas

Pike Fish

Apex freshwater predators with fearsome teeth!

Pine Marten

A pine marten can jump from tree to tree similar to a squirrel.

Polar Bear

Could be extinct within the next 30 years!

Pond Skater

There are 500 different species!

Pool Frog

The rarest amphibian in the UK!

Porcupine

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Porpoise

Surprisingly, not a dolphin!

Puffin

Can remain in the water for up to 2 minutes!

Purple Emperor Butterfly

Inhabits deciduous forests!

Puss Moth

Caterpillars squirt formic acid!

Quail

Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!

Rabbit

There are more than 50 different species!

Raccoon

Known to wash their food before eating it!

Raccoon Dog

The only hibernating canine!

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

Red Deer

A male red deer shows his age in his antlers, which become longer and more branched every year.

Redstart

They build their nests off the ground in tree holes, cavities, stone walls, and roofs

Reindeer

Also known as the Caribou

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!

Robin

There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!

Rodents

The capybara, the world’s largest rodent, likes to be in and around bodies of water. Because of this, the Catholic Church in South America decided that it was a fish, and people were allowed to eat it during Lent and First Fridays.

Roe Deer

The roe is one of the most popular game animals in Europe

Rooster

Will mate with the entire flock!

Rough-Legged Hawk (Rough-Legged Buzzard)

Its scientific name, lagopus, is Ancient Greek for “hare” and “foot,” referring to its feathered feet and toes.

Sable Ferret

Ferrets were used during the Revolutionary War to keep down the rat population.

Salamander

There are more than 700 different species!

Sand Crab

The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail

Sand Lizard

Males turn green in spring!

Scorpion

There are around 2,000 known species!

Sea Eagle

The sea eagle tends to mate for life with a single partner

Seahorse

Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Sheep

Around 35 million in the English countryside!

Short-Eared Owl

The short-eared owl is one of the most widespread owl species in the world, covering five continents.

Shrew

The spinal column of the shrew Scutisorex somereni is so strong and reinforced that it can support the weight of an adult human.

Shrimp

There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

Skink Lizard

Some skinks lay eggs in some habitats while giving birth to skinklets in other habitats.

Slow Worm

Found widely throughout British gardens!

Slug

They glide around on one foot, which is aided by the slime they produce

Smokybrown Cockroach

Has up to 45 eggs per egg case

Snail

There are nearly 1,000 different species!

Snake

There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

Snowy Owl

One of the largest owl species in the world!

Song Thrush

A male song thrush can have over 100 phrases in his repertoire of songs and can imitate pet birds, telephones and other man-made objects.

Spadefoot Toad

They spend most of their time underground!

Sparrow

There are 140 different species!

Spider Wasp

They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.

Squirrel

Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!

Stoat

Average adults weigh about 200 grams!

Stork

They can’t sing like other birds.

Swan

Populations have been affected by pollution!

Swedish Elkhound

Swedish Elkhounds existed in prehistoric times!

Swedish Lapphund

"The Black Beauty of Norrland"

Tawny Owl

The most widespread owl in Europe!

Termite

Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!

Thrush

The American robin is called the robin because its red breast reminded European settlers of the robin back in the old country.

Tick

They inject hosts with a chemical that stops them from feeling the pain of the bite

Tiger Beetle

The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world

Tiger Moth

The bright colors of this moth are a signal to predators that it has a terrible taste.

Tortoise

Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!

Turtles

Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.

Ural owl

The Ural owl can rotate its head up to 270 degrees

Viper

Vipers are one of the most widespread groups of snakes and inhabit most

Vulture

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Wasp

There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Water Buffalo

Has been domesticated for thousands of years!

Water Vole

The largest Vole species in the UK!

Weasel

The smallest carnivorous mammal in the world!

White Ferret / Albino Ferrets

There are two different types of white ferrets!

White-Tailed Eagle

It is one of the biggest birds of prey.

Wild Boar

Males have a top tusk to sharpen the bottom one!

Willow Warbler

This bird molts twice a year.

Wolf

Thought to date back more than 300,000 years!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.

Wolverine

Releases a strong smelling musk in defence!

Woodlouse

This animal can roll up into a ball

Woodlouse Spider

Unlike most spiders, woodlouse spiders don’t build a web.

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Woolly Rhinoceros

The woolly rhinoceros roamed the earth between three and a half million and 14,000 years ago.

Worm

Doesn’t have eyes.

Wryneck

They feign death by making their bodies limp and closing their eyes.

Xeme (Sabine’s Gull)

They follow after seals and whales to eat their scraps.

Yellowhammer

It interbreeds with the pine bunting

Zebra Mussels

A female zebra mussel can deposit 30,000 to 1,000,000 eggs each year!

Swedish Animals List

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About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

Animals in Sweden FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What Animals Live in Sweden?

Sweden’s animals thrive in cool, wintry conditions. You can expect to see moose, beavers and gray wolves. Sweden has arctic foxes and red foxes.

Reindeer are native to Sweden. So are red deer, fallow deer and roe deer.

Frogs, newts and toads are among the reptiles you’ll find. Its small mammals include lemmings, pine martens and squirrels.

Gray seals, harbor seals and ringed seals swim in Sweden’s coastal waters.

Besides wildlife, Sweden has domestic animals, including goats, sheep and donkeys. The Yule goat is an important part of Swedish Christmas celebrations.

Sweden has Europe’s highest rate of insurance for domestic pets. More than 50% of cats, dogs and horses have pet insurance.

How Many Animals Are There in Sweden?

Sweden has many unique native animals, including:

  • 73 mammal species.
  • 240 breeding birds and 60 non-breeding birds.
  • 12 species of amphibian and 6 of reptile.
  • 56 freshwater fish.
  • Over 100 marine animals.

What Dangerous Animals Live in Sweden?

There are few animal attacks on humans in Sweden. There are no recorded deaths from wild boars, wolverines, lynxes or wolves.

Wasp: Wasps kill more humans than any other animal in Sweden. About one person dies each year from a wasp sting.

Brown bear: Although bears won’t seek people out to attack them, they are aggressive fighters. If they feel threatened, they will attack and kill. Official reports note that bears have been involved in 61 attacks on humans from 1977 to 2019. These usually occurred during hunting trips.

Does Sweden Have Poisonous Snakes?

Sweden is home to the common European adder (Vipera berus). It is the only poisonous snake in Sweden. Its bite is usually not fatal, but it is very painful.