In the conservation of species, Metsähallitus aims to hinder the species from disappearing in the protected areas, if it is ecologically realistic, and to keep the populations of the species viable. Knowledge about the occurrence and demands of the species, and about the management methods is required. With many species, this information is not sufficient, or it is hard to come by.
The following species get special attention:
- threatened species and species which are protected under the EU Birds Directive and Habitats Directive,
- species which are rare outside nature reserves
- species which are easily disturbed or in danger from collectors
- other species which are important to protect, population of which is small in nature reserves, and which are in danger to become extinct in nature reserves.
Metsähallitus Has a Central Role in Species Conservation
- Metsähallitus manages the habitats of the species for which it has a special responsibility.
- It also tries to create new suitable habitats for species by nature management and restoration.
- The Forestry Business Unit takes into consideration the demands of rare and threatened species.
- It is possible to move a threatened species to a different location, if it is justified by conservation biological reasons, if the habitat of the species is in a risk to become destroyend, or if the diversity of the species’ gene pool needs to be maintained, for example.
- Metsähallitus takes part in the conservation of species by promoting native Finnish species at the expense of the alien species, which humans have helped to naturalise. It is case-specific whether a species will be disposed of: If it has recently arrived and would not disappear by itself, it will be disposed of. However, if the introduced species has permanently settled in the Finnish landscape, it will only be destroyed:
- if the introduced species threatens species or communities which are in need of special protection
- and if permanent or long-term results can be hoped for.
Collecting Data on Threatened Species Is an Essential Part of Conservation
Metsähallitus conducts and commissions different inventories and surveys on threatened species and:
- records information on the locations of threatened species in the joint register of the Environmental Administration, and its own geographical information systems.
- monitors the development of populations of threatened species in its area
- co-operates with Regional Environment Centres, and partly also makes its own decisions on outlining the important occurrences of species which are in need of special protection.
- enforces the declarations of game preservation and does its part to counteract poaching, and
- informs the public on threatened species and the conservation work.
In addition, Metsähallitus has a national responsibility for the conservation and monitoring of a group of threatened species. These species include the Saimaa ringed seal (Phoca hispida saimensis), the White-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos), the Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), the Hairy stonecrop (Sedum villosum) and the Hairy melick (Melica ciliata).
- Protecting species (www.ymparisto.fi)