The 2015 Red Lists of Finnish bird and mammal species

The red lists of Finnish bird and mammal species were updated in 2015. These red lists replace the 2010 published lists of birds and mammals.

The publications are in Finnish, with English abstracts and captions for the figures and tables.


Lintupiirros_Terhi Ryttäri

Drawing: Terhi Ryttäri ©

Abstract: Birds

An evaluation of threatened and red-listed bird species in Finland was made during 2015 following the updated guidelines of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as in the former evaluations in 2010 and 2000. 248 species were treated, and 244 of them evaluated. The two Finnish subspecies of the Dunlin Calidris alpina were evaluated separately, and hence the number of taxa evaluated was 249. Dunlin subspecies were paralleled with full species.

Of the 245 species evaluated, 87 (36% of evaluated) are threatened, 23 (9%) nearly threatened and 135 (55%) least concern species. Of threatened species, 13 (5 % of evaluated) are critically endangered, 36 (16%) endangered, and 38 (16%) vulnerable. Threatened and nearly threatened species comprise the red list, which thus includes 110 species (45% of evaluated). The former evaluation comprised 59 (24%) threatened, 30 (13%) nearly threatened and 152 (63%) least concern species; the red list thus comprised 89 (37%) species.

Among orders, the proportions of threatened and red-listed species were unevenly distributed. The proportion is bigger than the average of all species especially in Anseriformes, Falconiformes and Charadriformes, whereas the proportion is smaller in Strigiformes and Passeriformes.

Examination by main habitat type revealed that the proportion of threatened species was larger than the average on shores, and in open fjell-country, the Baltic Sea and inland waters. Moreover the proportion of red-listed species was high in mires, though that of threatened species was not.

The most important causes for being threatened were habitat changes both in breeding areas, and along migratory routes and in wintering areas. Hunting was also an important cause, but not in that extent in Finland as along migratory routes and in wintering areas. Hunting can be a threat also in Finland, but the domestic legislation allows, and is used for, reacting with prohibition of hunting.

The winter population status of two species wintering in the Baltic Sea was also evaluated. These were Clangula hyemalis (least concern) and Polysticta stelleri (critically endangered). Other species overwintering in the Finnish Baltic Sea are increasing and not evaluated otherwise.

In addition to the national evaluation, the 2010 regional evaluation by forest vegetation zones was updated.


Drawing: Terhi Ryttäri ©

Abstract: Mammals

This publication describes the results of the fifth Finnish evaluation of threatened mammal species. The assessment follows the guidelines issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The assessment work was carried out by an expert group appointed by the Finnish Mammalogical Society. The Steering Group for Evaluation of Threatened Species (LAUHA) supervised the work.

There are 22 species on the Red List of Finnish mammals in the 2015 evaluation, that is two species less than in 2010. There are 7 threatened species, 4 species less than in 2010. The assessment covered 75 mammal species or subspecies. IUCN category remained unchanged for 67 species. These include 5 extinct, one data deficient (DD) and 16 species not evaluated (alien species, vagrant visitors). Category of 8 species improved, and none was more threatened than in 2010.

Threatened species included the Natterer’s bat Myotis nattereri (EN), the Nathusius’ pipistrelle Pipistrellus nathusi (VU), the arctic fox Vulpes lagopus (CR), the wolf Canis lupus (EN), the wolverine Gulo gulo (EN), the European polecat Mustela putorius (VU) and the Saimaa ringed seal Pusa hispida saimensis (EN). Near threatened (NT) included the common vole Microtus arvalis, the Eurasian beaver Castor fiber, the Siberian flying squirrel Pteromys volans, the Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx, the brown bear Ursus arctos, the Baltic ringed seal Pusa hispida botnica and the forest reindeer Rangifer tarandus fennicus. Two species, the mountain hare Lepus timidus (LC) and the European otter Lutra lutra (LC) were removed from the Red List.

The most common reasons threatening mammals include hunting (both legal and illegal as well as legal bycatch), and random factors connected to the small population size. Climate change affects the future of the arctic fox, the mountain hare, the Saimaa ringed seal and the Baltic ringed seal. Forest management affects two species, the Siberian flying squirrel and the forest reindeer. Other factors threatening mammals include disturbance, interspecific competition, genetic problems and pollutants.

Further information

Senior Researcher Markku Mikkola-Roos (birds), Finnish Environment Institute, Tel. +358 295 251 429, E-mail:

Senior Researcher Ulla-Maija Liukko (mammals), Finnish Environment Institute, Tel. +358 295 251 387, E-mail:

Environment Counsellor Esko Hyvärinen, Ministry of the Environment, Tel. +358 295 250 094, E-mail: [first name esko.o.]








Published 2016-01-15 at 10:56, updated 2020-12-04 at 10:31