Substantial resources are used to monitor Norwegian populations of large predators. This monitoring is used to estimate bear, wolverine, lynx, wolf and golden eagle population sizes. These population estimates are key variables in the management of the mammalian predators, both with respect to compliance with international directives, Norwegian law and management decisions made by the Norwegian parliament. However, the reindeer herding industry have expressed concern that the predator populations are underestimated, leading to unacceptable levels of predation pressure on reindeer in some areas. Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) is required to be considered in planning, resource and land management in Norway and for TEK in Sámi areas, this obligation is further elaborated in planning guidelines worked out by the Sámi Parliament. However, Sámi traditional knowledge has so far not been included in large predator management in Norway and has not formally been documented. We suggest a pilot project to test the use of structured interviews as a method to collect and document Sámi traditional knowledge regarding the abundance and challenges associated with predator populations in reindeer pastures. The resulting data will be presented as figures and maps that describe potential spatial and temporal challenges associated with predator populations and reindeer herding in Norway. This representation will form a first step in formally documenting traditional ecological knowledge regarding large predator species’ ranges and serve as a platform to investigate ways in which the use of TEK can be incorporated into the management of large predator populations in Norwegian reindeer pastures.
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