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Fauna of Finland

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Fauna of Finland

This is a list of the fauna of Finland. Finland borders Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, and Norway to the north, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland, allowing an ecological mix. Finland contains many species of mammals, birds, and fish, but only a few reptiles and amphibians. This article discusses all the vertebrate animals which can be found on Finland itself, not the oceans.

Mammals

There are over 90 species of mammals found in Finland and the surrounding oceans. Some were introduced from other countries in Europe, as well as other continents, such as Asia and North America. Rodents and shrews are most common in Finland.

Rodents

There are close to 30 species of rodents living throughout Finland. These include the widespread Muridae, such as the house mouse, brown rat and wood mouse which live throughout Europe, and the Norway lemming, which only lives in Scandinavia. Some were introduced there, and they include the muskrat and nutria among others.

Lagomorphs

There are 3 species of rabbits and hares found in Finland. The common rabbit spread there from central Europe. It is now found in practically all of Europe. The other two species are hares.

Insectivores

There are 10 species of insectivore living in Finland. Eight of the ten are shrews, from the common shrew to the Eurasian water shrew. Shrews are very common in the forests of Finland. A species of mole and one of hedgehog are the remaining insectivores.

Bats

About 13 kinds of bat live in Finland.

Carnivores

Around 15 species of carnivore are found in Finland. Many of the larger carnivores were or are still in danger of dying out. Other than Russia and some other eastern European countries, Finland is the last stronghold for gray wolves in Europe.

Pinnipeds

Pinnipeds includes all the seals, sea lions, and the walrus. Four pinnipeds are native to Finland year round (most living on the northern coast), but other species, such as the walrus, may migrate there during certain times of the year. The Saimaa ringed seal is a subspecies of ringed seal native exclusively to Finland and is a famous animal there, though it is also one of the most endangered seal subspecies in the world.

Artiodactyls

The order of Artiodactyl includes all even-hooved mammals. There are about 10 species that can be found in Finland. Many species have been either introduced or reintroduced there.

  • Wild boar Sus scrofa (common)
  • Roe deer Capreolus capreolus (common)
  • White-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus (common/introduced from North America)
  • Fallow deer Dama dama (uncommon/introduced from other parts of Europe)
  • Red deer Cervus elaphus (very rare/became extinct but recently spreading from Sweden)
  • Reindeer Rangifer tarandus (common)
  • Moose Alces alces (common)
  • Mouflon Ovis musimon (rare/introduced from central Europe)

Cetaceans

This order includes all the whales, toothed whales, and dolphins of the different waters. Since they live in the ocean and travel a lot, it is hard to tell exactly how many species there are. There are probably about 8, most which live in the Arctic Ocean, off Finland's northern coast.

Birds

There are around 340 different kinds of birds all over Finland, from the cold north, to the temperate south. Most are native all year, but some species migrate to warmer areas during the winter. Like mammals, some of Finlands birds have been introduced.

Grebes and loons

Grebes and loons are two separate orders of birds. They are both semi-aquatic and appear similar to ducks.

Albatrosses and petrels

Albatrosses and petrels are two of the four families of marine diving birds that make up this order. Some of them look similar to sea gulls, but are found further out at sea. They live mostly off the coasts of Finland.

Pelicaniforms

This includes not only pelicans, but also gannets and cormorants. There are 6 families in this order but only a few species are found in Finland.

Herons and storks

Herons and storks are just two of the better known families in this order, which contains a total of six families. All are wading birds who generally have predatory characteristics.

Ducks

This order contains the ducks, geese, and swans. All are in a single family, which is very large and has species from all over the world. Finland has many species.

Grouse and pheasants

These include all the fowl of the world. Many species live in Finland and are a common food source.

Birds of Prey

These are the most predatory birds in the world. There are five families in all. Eagles and hawks, falcons, and osprey can all be found in Finland.

Gruiforms

There are 12 families in this order, which contains wading and ground birds. Cranes, rails, and bustards are the larger of the families, and contain members living in Finland.

Charadriforms

This is a large order which contains many kinds of semi-aquatic and coastal birds. Plovers, sandpipers, gulls, and puffins are some of the members of the order. They all occur in Finland.

Pigeons

These are small birds that are very familiar to city people because of feral rock pigeons, which occur worldwide.

Cuckoos

This family of birds is unique in that the mother bird may lay her eggs in another species nest, and have that female take care of her young. Only one species is found in Finland.

Owls

Owls are considered nocturnal birds of prey. They hunt and are mostly active during the night. Two families, the owls and barn owls, make up this order.

Nightjars

Only one species in this order is found all over Europe. Nightjars and their relatives are nocturnal and some show predatory behavior.

Swifts

Swifts are a family of quick flying birds related to hummingbirds.

Coraciforms

This order includes rollers, kingfishers, bee-eaters, and others. Most of these birds have very large beaks in proportion to their bodies.

Woodpeckers

The woodpeckers can make holes in trees with their strong beaks.

Reptiles

see List of reptiles of Finland

See also

References

  • Golden Encyclopedia of Mammals
  • Birds of Europe and Middle East
  • Nature in Finland
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