Wildlife of Europe Series - Finland
Finland is a country located in northern Europe, known for its breathtaking natural landscapes and diverse wildlife. The country's unique geography and climate have created a perfect habitat for a wide variety of animals, ranging from majestic predators to small, elusive mammals.
One of the most iconic animals in Finland is the brown bear. These large, powerful predators can be found throughout the country's forests and wilderness areas, and are often the subject of wildlife photography and eco-tourism. While they are generally shy and avoid human contact, visitors to Finland can sometimes catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
Another notable predator in Finland is the wolf. Despite being highly controversial due to their predatory nature and impact on livestock, wolves are an important part of Finland's ecosystem. They help to keep populations of other animals in check, and their presence is seen as a sign of a healthy and balanced ecosystem. While wolves are difficult to spot in the wild, visitors can learn more about these fascinating animals at the many nature centers and wildlife museums located throughout the country.
Finland is also home to a number of large herbivores, including moose, elk, and reindeer. Moose, also known as Eurasian elk, are the largest members of the deer family and can weigh up to 700 kg. They are found in forests throughout Finland and are often hunted for their meat. Reindeer, on the other hand, are domesticated animals that are primarily used for their milk, meat, and fur. They are also an important part of Finnish culture and are associated with the country's indigenous Sami people.
In addition to these larger animals, Finland is also home to a number of small, elusive mammals. One of the most famous is the Arctic fox, which is found in the country's northernmost regions. These foxes are perfectly adapted to the harsh arctic climate and can survive in temperatures as low as -50°C. Other small mammals found in Finland include the European pine marten, the least weasel, and the red squirrel.
Finland is also known for its diverse birdlife, with over 400 species recorded in the country. The national bird of Finland is the whooper swan, which can be seen throughout the country's wetlands and lakes. Other notable birds found in Finland include the capercaillie, the black grouse, and the golden eagle.
Finally, Finland's waters are teeming with a wide variety of fish, including salmon, trout, pike, and perch. Fishing is a popular pastime in Finland, and visitors can enjoy fishing excursions on the country's many lakes and rivers.
Overall, Finland's wildlife is diverse and fascinating, with something for every nature lover to enjoy. Whether you're interested in spotting large predators or small, elusive mammals, or simply want to take in the beauty of the country's natural landscapes, Finland has something to offer. Visitors are sure to be amazed by the incredible variety of wildlife that can be found throughout the country.
As an (important) side note, the Finnish people were found to be the "World's Happiest" 6 years in a row recently. They are doing something right, clearly! Your author believes that a close-knit, thriving community spirit along with closely held ties to nature and a sound work/life balance play an integral role in this outcome.