Bears in Finland
Bears in Finland

Image: Danny Laredo

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Wildlife Travel in Finland

By , , updated on

In recognition of World Wildlife Day 2020, we take a look at wildlife travel and conservation efforts in Finland.

World Wildlife Day 2020

March 3, 2020 is World Wildlife Day. Established by the UN, it is an annual celebration of the world’s wild flora and fauna, raising awareness of efforts towards conservation and the sustainable use of nature and wildlife.

Finns are no strangers to sustainable living, traditionally having a close relationship with their natural environment. Enjoying, while respecting, nature is a basic tenet of life in Finland.

Finland’s pristine nature and unique range of animal species make it a perfect destination for wildlife travel enthusiasts. The thousands of beautiful lakes and vast forests are home to wide range of species, many of which are rarely seen elsewhere in the world, making is a natural haven for wildlife photographers and bird watchers.

Finland is also home to several endangered species, notably the Saimaa Ringed Seal that can only be found at Lake Saimaa in Finland. With a population of less than 400, they are one of the most endangered seal species in the world.

The Saimaa Ringed Seal at Lake Saimaa, Finland.
(Image: Vastavalo/ Teuvo Juvonen)

No. 1 for Wildlife Travel

Finland’s efforts towards conservation of wildlife and sustainable tourism have not gone unrecognised. In 2019, Finland was named the number one destination for wildlife travel in the Global Wildlife Travel Index.

The survey highlighted Finland’s “high levels of environmental sustainability, its unique and varied diversity of species, beautiful natural landscapes, and conservation efforts.”

There are 40 National Parks throughout Finland with Nuuksio National Park located just outside of Helsinki. Head northward if you wish to see the large forest animals – bears, wolves and moose – as these are rarely encountered in the southern forests.

If you want to see these majestic animals in their natural habitat, there are several wilderness and wildlife tours run by experienced guides, who are also committed to minimising the ecological impact of these activities.

Finnish Lapland is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Tours like this one (Arctic Animals Immersion, from tour operator Wild About Lapland) include a bear watching expedition together with a tour of Ranua Wildlife Park, where you can see reindeer, wolves, moose and Finland’s only polar bears.

Wildlife Conservation at Korkeasaari Zoo, Helsinki

Finland also has several zoos and wildlife parks, the largest in the capital area being the popular Korkeasaari Zoo.

The conservation of biodiversity is a core mission of the Korkeasaari Zoo. Established since 1889, the zoo is home to 150 animal and close to 1000 plant species.

When you visit the zoo, you are contributing to their work in protecting endangered species and their habitats. Learn more about their conservation work here.

Korkeasaari Zoo’s conservation program is dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity, and particularly those which are increasingly becoming endangered as their habitat is affected by climate change.

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