Wander With Moose Without Leaving Home

Moose1.jpgSwedish eco-tourism is supposed to be some of the world's best - a national system of eco-certifying different trips has been in place since 2002 with now over 300 different destinations sporting the Naturens Bästa ("Nature's Best") label. The most popular eco-destinations are dog-sledding in the chilly Swedish north, visiting some of the most vibrant Lapp cultural centers and reindeer markets, getting a glimpse of Aurora Borealis, or taking a pony tour in the low Swedish mountains.

But all those trips will require some flight time and rack up the CO2 emissions for out-of-country tourists. Of course, emissions offsets are a possibility, but there's another, unique alternative - for the best in armchair traveling, follow a Moose herd without ever leaving home. Six municipalities, three Swedish and three Norwegian, located in the far north of Scandinavia, have gotten a grant from the European Union to establish the moose as their regional symbol. They've also tagged a moose herd of about 75 members with GPS sensors. The tags generate satellite calls to a centrally-located server to keep track of moose movements - you can follow an individual moose or see where the herd goes. The municipalities want to get tourists interested in moose, as though overpopulation is a problem (and moose emissions not a trifling amount of CO2) the animal is considered an important economic asset, as hunting moose is a huge national sport. OK, perhaps moose tracking is not as exciting as dog sledding, or even spotting one of the top-heavy, spindly-legged moose in the flesh, but it's still kind of cool. P.S. Tracking reports are delayed by 14 days to protect the moose from illegal hunting. Via ::Alg i MittSkandia (English, too)

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