Endangered species and their protection

In Finland, the endangerment of species is assessed every ten years. This assessment is based on the obligation to maintain the levels of biodiversity required by the EU Habitats and Birds Directives and implemented by the Finnish Nature Conservation Act.

Although the first assessment of the threat to Finnish species was made in the 1980s, the current system of assessment is based on an internationally comparable method administered by theInternational Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The Red List of Finnish species compiles endangered species

Based on the conclusions of the endangerment assessment of Finnish species, a Red List of Finnish species will be published. The endangerment assessment includes all species which are established in Finland. The assessment shall consider the distribution, abundance and abundance of each species, as well as any changes thereof. It identifies species and groups of species that require special actions to survive in a changing environment. 

Common species that are unchanged quantitatively and qualitatively are classified as persistent. Rare, sensitive or variously deteriorated species are classified as endangered, based on their population strength.

The list also includes species found only in the Åland Islands, as well as species regulated by hunting or fishing laws. They are missing from the list of endangered species annexed to the Nature Protection Decree.

Species on the list are described as extinct, endangered, vulnerable, near threatened or data deficient.

 The red stem and flowers, as well as the characteristic whorls of four leaves along the stem of the fourleaf mare’s tail (Hippuris tetraphylla).
Within the European Union, the fourleaf mare’s tail is only found in Finland and Sweden and therefore its habitat is protected.

Endangered species are protected in many ways

The destruction and degradation of endangered species and their habitats are prohibited by law. The ban enters into force when the regional Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, by decision, has defined the boundaries of the site of the protected species and has notified the landowner.

Species that are classified as endangered are found in almost all groups of organisms and their conservation is achieved through the designation of protected areas. The most effective means of strengthening the declining population of a species is through a large and interconnected network of protected areas, which considers the different habitats and the distribution of that species.

The state-owned Finnish Forest Administration, i.e. Metsähallitus, is responsible for the
management and use of protected areas located on state land, as well as sea areas.
Conservation measures and restrictions on the use of the site are tailored to that site, and protection status does not automatically mean that all activities in the area will cease. For example, although activities such as dredging, and motorboat traffic are restricted in the habitats of the marine leaf beetle, bathing and fishing are allowed because they do not threaten the survival of the species.

 Striped beetle.
The endangered marine leaf beetle thrives in shallow marine bays, particularly along the shores of Uusimaa, on the southern coast of Finland.

Some endangered species require special protection

Some endangered species require special protection. Species belonging to this group include fish, e.g. sea trout (Salmo trutta), and insects, such as the marine leaf beetle (Macroplea pubipennis), which in the Baltic Sea is only found only off the coasts of Finland and Sweden.

 A whitefish splashes on the surface of the current.
Marine stocks of the Baltic whitefish or powan, i.e. Coregonus lavaretus, are classified as critically endangered.