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Trees, wolves & unintended consequences - Sweden June 2018

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Sweden is a country of trees. 23 million hectares of them. Over half of the country’s total area. So its easy to assume biodiversity would be rich and large carnivores like wolves and bears would have plenty of space to themselves. Not so. With the negative press around the impact of farming on the environment it would also be easy to assume that the declining area of farmland is a good thing for biodiversity in Sweden.Also no true.
So what’s going on?The Swedish forestry industry is very successful.As a timber merchant friend of mine neatly put it the Swedes produce good wood and the world needs it.But spruce monoculture is taking its toll on the environment.It suits large herbivores very well.Roe deer & moose flourish in this habitat and so their predators flourish too.But the loss of farmland to more forest is causing loss of pollinator habitat, reduced plant diversity and declining farmland bird numbers.Traditional small livestock farms are struggling to survive and as they dis…