Swedish Forest Agency (Skogsstyrelsen) urges for decisive measures to put an end to the trend when elks cause too much damage to trees across the country, TheLocal reported. The forest authorities offer to shoot more elk in future hunts to save the trees and to keep the optimal balance.
The Swedish Forest Agency (SFA) reports that 10-20 percent of all Scots pine trees in the Västerbotten region were damaged by grazing elk in the past year. In other places like Jämtland region, the figure climbs to 50 percent. According to the Skogsstyrelsen’s statement, damages of around 10 percent were registered in almost all regions during the annual inventory.
On Wednesday, SFA experts called for decisive measures to put an end to the trend, it is the right time to make the damage level a maximum of five percent. This year’s record figures are thought to be caused by the cold and snowy winter, which meant that the animals were not able to find food on the ground and moved around less from area to area.
“All actors involved have to realize how serious the situation is and make strong and coordinated efforts in most of the areas,”
said Christer Kalén, SFA expert, in an official statement published on the agency’s website.
The Forest Agency now wants to increase the annual elk cull by up to 10-20 percent, writes Sweden local newspaper Västerbottens-Kuriren. Normally, around 80,000 to 90,000 elk are killed in the hunt every year.