Norway is very different from the rest of the European countries, while in Norway there are still many wild animals roaming free in their huge forests, in the rest of the countries of Europe a huge quantity of animals have disappeared already or they are in danger of being extinct.
Although the global warming is causing a big impact in the northern countries, there are still many unique animals that you can only see in Norway.
1) The Elk
The moose, or also known as “Elk” (Elg in Norwegian) is the national animal of Norway and it´s one of the most common animals in the country.
The Norwegian elk is a different specie from the one in Canada and the US, they are the largest animal in all Norway and unfortunately it´s very hard to find them in the wild as they are a solitary animal. A great way to spot them in their natural area is in Buksnesfjord at preferably at sunset time.
Although the elk is a very respected animal in Norway, many animals of this specie are killed everyday due to train and car accidents on the road. Last of all, we won´t recommend you getting too closer to them as they can get aggressive during the mating season.
2) Polar Bears
Did you know that on this list of animals that live in Norway, you can also find polar bears? We got a huge surprise when we realised there were still polar bears in Norway as they are an endangered animal all over the world.
You will have to go up north to see them, actually, the place is called Svalbard and it´s a separated island from the rest of the country, plus, Svalbard is the northernmost inhabited island in the world.
One of the coolest things about Svalbard and it´s polar bears is that there are even more polar bears than humans living over there, so the chance of seeing them are pretty high. Just remember to be careful with them, as they are one of the most dangerous animals in Norway.
Puffins are known all over the world for being one of the most beautiful and photogenic birds on earth. Although the majority of the people believe they are only living in Iceland, you can also spot them in Norway.
These small birds are one of our favourite animals to see in Norway, and luckily there are more than just a few places where you can see them. Of course, the separated island of Svalbard is a great option to spot these birds, but you may also find them in Bleik and Gjesvær.
The clown faced puffin is such a beautiful animal that there are many guide tours on boats to see them in the wild. There are specific islands and locations where you can spot a thousand of them chilling.
If you are one of those people who is passionate about sea life, then we have amazing news for you, Norway has a unique life at the ocean. It´s waters are much less polluted than in other countries, and for that reason you will be able to see all types of sea animals (specially whales).
Andenes, an area located at the top of the Vesterålen islands is actually the best place to see whales in all Norway. During the summer months (from May to September), there are many boat trips for tourists and local people just to spot them in the wild.
One of the most popular animals in Norway are the humpback whales, but other than that, you may also be able to see pilot, minke, orcas and sperm whales…It is definitely an amazing wildlife experience.
You may remember the reindeers for being “Santa´s” animals, and as they are one of the most common animals in Norway and many other northern countries, it´s not so hard to see them freely in the nature.
Unfortunately, nowadays there are many places in Norway where the Sámi people have domesticated the reindeers to use them as a transport (please do not be part of these activities where the animals are suffering a lot).
If you are looking to see them in the wild, you won´t need to go so up in the north as it happens with other animals, we recommend you visiting the Rondane or the Hardangervidda National Parks. Depending on the area where you go, you may be able to see different kind of reindeers.
6) Arctic Fox
The arctic fox is not one of those animals only found in Norway but seeing them it´s still very impressive. These animals are incredibly special as they are entirely white during the winter months, that way they can blend with the snow and be a much harder hunt for their depredators.
It´s one of the coolest small animals in Norway and it´s very similar to the typical red fox. It´s size is about 60cm long and it wights around 3/4kg. Probably one of the most interesting things about this Norwegian animal is that they moult twice a year. Their different colours are blue during the summertime and snow white during the colder days.
Spotting one of these wild animals in Norway it´s quite hard, specially during the winter months as its colour is exactly the same than the snow. The best places to see the arctic fox are Orgefjell and the Saltfjellet-Svartisen National Parks…of course, you can also see them in Svalbard.
Another of the most typical animals in Norway is the walrus. These animals are famous all over the world thanks to its external tusks (which can weight up to 5kg) and its similarity to the seals and sea lions.
There are two species of walruses, one is located in the pacific and the other is located in the Atlantic Ocean, which is also the one you can find in Norway. The best places to see walruses in the wild are Greenland, Franz Josef Land archipelagos and of course the Norwegian island of Svalbard.
There are many boat trips tours in Svalbard that will take you to the specific islands where it´s easier to see the walrus. You may also be able to find them by your own, but it´s way harder.
8) Eurasian lynx
Unfortunately, we have to talk about one of the most endangered animals in Norway, the Eurasian lynx. Although it´s true that there are many more countries where you can see tis type of lynx, in Norway there are less than 500 left in the wild.
The Eurasian lynx has a length of around 80 to 130 cm, and it´s weight is between 18 to 30kg. It is recognised for being a medium-size wild cat with long legs but a small tail, and it´s also the most common type of lynx found in Europe.
As we said, these lynxes are rare animals in Norway, there are not many of them left and generally they are shy and very hard to spot. Anyway, if you are trying to see some of them in their natural area, we would recommend you visiting Reisa National Park or Øvre Dividal National Park.
9) White tailed eagle
It´s not one of those animals that only live in Norway, but almost. The White-tailed eagle is a beautiful animal that can be found in Northern areas as Greenland, Iceland and of course, Norway.
As we said before, Norway is a paradise to find very rare birds, in this case, the white-tailed eagle is not easy to find but you may want to visit the Gjesværstappan Islands as it´s the best location to spot them in the wild. We also recommend you going during the summer months…they are resident birds and don´t tend to migrate, but it´s still easier to find them during the summer.
These birds are also known as the Eurasian sea eagle (they are hunting fishes all the time). The good news about the white-tailed eagle is that although during the 19th and 20th century they were critically in danger, their specie is increasing their numbers again.
When you are talking about the wildlife in Norway, you can´t forget about their wolves. The wolves of Norway live in the border area between Norway and Sweden and they travel from one country to another many times during the year.
The wolves normally travel in groups, so if you see one around be aware because they sometimes travel in packs of 15 wolves.
Unfortunately, these wolves are in danger in this country, but hopefully we won´t need to say that they are one of the extinct animals in Norway in a future.
Best places to see wildlife in Norway
Norway is a fantastic country for animal lovers…Polar bears, walruses, moose, puffins, whales are just some of the few species you can find, but there are all types of animals in Norway.
The best of all is that Norway is one of the wildest countries in Europe, there is a lot of nature, forests, clean oceans and many sceneries where animals can roam freely in the wild.
If you ask us about where to see wildlife in Norway, for sure we would choose Svalbard, as it´s where most of the species are located. There are also many national parks like Reisa, Øvre Pasvik, Andøya and the Andenes. You can even spot wildlife in Norway fjords!
Hope you enjoyed reading about the Norwegian animals
That´s all you need to know about the famous animals in Norway, as you have seen there are all kinds, from big to small species, from sea animals to birds or mammals…There is everything!
One thing we can say about the fauna in Norway is that it´s unique and very diverse, so if you have the chance to go…ENJOY IT!
And if you have any other question or suggestion, please let us know!