White-backed Woodpecker male feeding its young. Photo: Ilkka Markkanen.

Old-growth broadleaved forests and herb-rich forests dominated by broadleaved trees are the most species-rich of Finland’s forests. They are also inhabited by hundreds of threatened species. In the course of time, herb-rich forests, being rich in nutrients, have been converted into cultivated areas and only a small proportion of them remains in natural state.

The small size and isolated location of herb-rich forests and environmental changes weaken the chances of species to survive in them. The purpose of the management measures is to ensure the survival of threatened species.

Meadows and pastures are becoming scarcer as farms and traditional farming practices are abandoned. The abandoned areas are rapidly taken over by high-growth vegetation and bushes. Species characteristic of meadows have to give way to more common species. The management of traditional biotopes is not only a question of the protection of species, but also of landscape management.

The Species-rich LIFE project has helped to improve the living conditions of a large number of threatened species and species listed in the Habitat and Birds Directives, such as marsh fritillary, lady’s slipper orchid, white-backed woodpecker and flat bark beetle. Efforts have also been taken to ensure the survival of the clouded apollo, a threatened butterfly species, at its inland population in Somero by moving individual butterflies to newly restored habitats.

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Last updated 29 May 2020