European Wilderness Academy Dayst

Oulanka National Park

Nature in Oulanka National Park

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Elk in Oulanka National Park

Nature in Oulanka National Park is a unique example of a meandering river ecosystem surrounded by extensive Boreal forests near the Arctic Circle. It is the first certified PAN Park in Finland with the ambition to protect fragments of unlogged Boreal forest from intensive reindeer herding.

Its geographical location is one of the reasons for its species richness. The difference in temperature between the high rising fells and low river valleys makes an ideal environment for a versatile range of species and makes it possible for rare species to habitat the area. For example the park’s emblem plant, the Calypso, is threatened, but common in this area. Other nationally endangered species found here are the Pohjanailakki and the Lady’s Slipper.

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Lady’s slipper orchid

In Oulanka’s meadows, you may catch a glimpse of the endangered Copper Violet Butterfly. Riverbeds and alluvial meadows are home to rare butterflies and 100 bird species nest in the park. Rare birds like the Siberian Jay and the Capercaillie also take refuge in these herb-rich forests.

The moose is near-tame and is a common sight in Oulanka National Park. Small mammals are also typical in the area, but also the iconic representative of the large carnivores, the Brown Bear. Wolves, wolverines and lynx are however quite rare in the Park. Common birds on the shores of flowing waters in Oulanka are the White-Throated Dipper and the Common Sandpiper. In the Park’s wilderness zones, the Golden Eagle and the White-tailed Eagle are common.

Flagship flora species: Wild Orchids, Calypso Bulbosa

Flagship fauna species: Golden Eagle, Capercaillie, Bear, Flying Squirrel

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