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Bear hunting quota rises to nearly 400

The number of permits has been gradually increasing in recent years.

Nuori karhu kävelee suolla.
The quota for this year's hunting season is an increase of 71 on last year. Image: Sari Ursin / Yle

The quota for the upcoming bear hunting season has been increased to 384, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has announced in a press release.

Last year’s quota of 313 was intended to stabilise the level of Finland’s bear population, but their numbers have continued to flourish despite expectations to the contrary, the statement added.

The Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) estimated that there were between 2,300 and 2,500 bears in Finland before last year’s hunting season.

Although the bear is one of the most strictly protected species under the EU's Habitats Directive, the Finnish bear population can be controlled by the issuing of municipal hunting permits due to its large numbers.

However, female cubs and cubs under the age of one year old are protected from hunting.

The number of permits has been gradually increasing in recent years, rising from 183 permits in 2016 to 255 in 2017, and to 260 in 2018.

The bear hunting season begins on August 20 and ends on October 31.

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