How many wolverines do we have?

Written by Nicklas Iversen | Last edited 2. June 2021

In 2020, it was estimated that we had 382 wolverines. You can learn more about Norway’s wolverine population on this page.


Like the other large carnivores, the wolverine has been hunted too. The wolverine’s fur was a valuable commodity for a long time. Norwegian trappers sold large numbers of pelts to commercial travellers from Europe. The wolverine was also hunted because of the bounty on its head.

In addition to being hunted, there was not much food to be found in the forests in the 19th century. There was great competition because of there being a lot of predators and not many prey animals. That is why the wolverine did best in the mountains, where there were still reindeer herds to provide food for it. And fewer hunters.

The wolverine was protected in 1973.


In 2019, it was estimated that we had around 308 wolverines.

A total of 63 litters of wolverine kits were recorded as being born – in other words 63 female wolverine’s gave birth to kits.

Norway’s wolverine national litter target is 39. This target is divided between different management zones.  Each management zone has its own target for the number of litters in a year. If the number of litters in a management zone exceeds the target, hunting can be allowed.

In the case of wolverines, we also kill young kitts in the den. This is called ‘den culling’. Many people believe this to be wrong. The method is used because the wolverine is difficult to hunt. It is the easiest way of reducing wolverine numbers.


This article has been written by Bjørn Henrik Stavdal Johansen, a nature guide at Visitor Centre Carnivore Flå

Foto: Matthieu