On this Norwegian wildlife tour the National Park is home to Elk and hare but is also home to Norway's 4 large predators Bears, Wolves, Wolverines and Lynx.
Elk are common in Norway and one of the best ways to see Elk is going on a morning drive and having a little luck out in the bush,we will also be using Elk calls to increase our chances in seeing these amazing creatures. Elk are the largest land Mammals in Europe and tower over most people at 6.8 feet at the shoulder. During this Norwegian wildlife tour, Elk will have young calves with them giving birth during May and June, their breeding season takes place in September and October. Elk in Hedmark which is the region this wildlife tour operates has the highest number of Elk in Norway.
Having all 4 large Norwegian predators is not common in most Norwegian National Parks so we are lucky to have them on this Norwegian wildlife tour. I will be using calls to increase our chances of seeing them, all calls will be done away from the campsite in the bush just so we don't actively encourage them to come to our campsite. All calls will be done this safety plan in place as this is just normal routine for doing wild animal encounters, I am a qualified South African field guide and have done wild animal encounters in both the Southern and Northern hemisphere.
Bears are the largest land predators in Europe, Norway is home to Brown and Polar bears (polar bears are a sub-species of brown bears) The park we will be in is home to Brown bears during this time in the Park the bears will be going through their breading season from May-July with 9 months gestation period. Brown bears are omnivorous and have a varied diet and are not true carnivorous their diet includes berries, roots, meat and fish, they also eat insects such as ants and this is common in the National Park as there is a large number of wood ants nests in the area. The National Park is playing an important role in increasing the bear population in Norway, Hedmark has the second largest population of bears in Norway.
Wolves like Bears and are omnivorous and have a similar diet although they rarely eat fish and have only been observed doing it on some occasions. We will be using Wolf calls to get a response during our time on the Norwegian wildlife tour, the breeding seasons happens during February and the pups are born in April and May.
Wolverines are related to weasels and is the largest land dwelling member of the Mustelids, they resemble a small bear. Musrtelids hunt prey that is often much larger than they are and the wolverine takes this to the limits with wolverines actively hunt female Elk. Even though they can hunt such large prey they are omnivores also eating vegetation such as berries and roots. We will us calls to increase our chances of seeing these animals but viewing them in the wild is difficult.
The last predator found in the National Park is the Lynx unlike the other predators the Lynx is a carnivore feeding on meat, as hare are common in the National Park this makes up the majority of their diet but they will also feed on small rodents, birds and even Elk calves given the opportunity. Their breeding season is in February and the gestation period last about 2.5 months.
We will be using calls to increase our chances of seeing Lynx on this Norwegian wildlife tour but like Wolverines they can be difficult to see in the wild.
All the mammals I have mentioned are large impressive creatures but there is also a lot of smaller mammals that make the National Park their home such as Field voles, Common shrews (one of the few mammals to use echolocation) and Hares.
All wildlife viewings on this Norwegian wildlife tour will be done from a safe distance and causing as little stress as possible to the wildlife.
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