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Preiviikinlahti Bay

© Genimap Oy, Lupa L4659/02

The Preiviikinlahti Bay Natura area (5,552 ha) is made up of Preiviikinlahti Bay, the archipelago on its outer edge, the beaches and dunes of Yyteri, and Enäjärvi Lake.

Part of the area is included in the National Wetland Conservation Programme, and the area has also been classified as an IBA area (an internationally Important Bird Area). Its importance as a recreational site makes Preiviikinlahti Bay more valuable. The area of Yyteri, with its sand and swimming beaches, is known throughout Finland, and the area is an especially important nature tourism and recreation site. Tens of thousands of visitors come to the whole area annually.

The natural environment

Preiviikinlahti Bay is a wide, shallow bay. Its northeastern beach is very flat and covered with grit and fine sand. The area is important nationally, most especially for its habitats, which are related to land uplift. Land uplift rapidly changes the vegetation of the gently sloping beach. The silt beach turns into meadows dominated by common reed and then into primary succession forest where pine or common alder grow as the first trees.

The beaches of Yyteri are the longest in the Nordic countries, and the shore's dune area is valuable because of its width. The dunes are partly shifting, and the highest of them, Keisarinpankki, is 20 metres high and 2.5 kilometres long.

The bay is Southern Finland's most important moulting and stopover place for wetland birds during  the migration period. Data about the area's bird life goes back a hundred years, and much of the data traces the autumn migration of waders. Thousands or even tens of thousands of waterfowl and thousands of waders gather in the area each year.

The schinzii Dunlin, photograph: Petri Koivisto

In addition to various wetland birds, the birds nesting in Preiviikinlahti Bay include the southern subspecies of Dunlin (Calidris alpina schinzii), which is a critically endangered species in Finland. Several pairs still survive on shore meadows managed by mowing. A variety of water and archipelago species, including the Greater Scaup, the Lesser Black-backed Gull and the Caspian Tern breed on the islands at the front of the bay.

Enäjärvi Lake is a bird lake near Preiviikinlahti Bay. Enäjärvi Lake is the rarest type of lake in Finland because it is our country's northernmost pondweed type lake. Among other species, there are fourteen species of waterbird that nest on the lake. Among rare wetland species that are few in number and are found on the lake are the Slavonian Grebe, the Bittern and the Marsh Harrier, and these species are included in the Birds Directive, Annex I.

Published 2014-06-18 at 15:31, updated 2014-06-18 at 15:31