Mammals

Around forty of Finland´s about sixty mammals occur somewhere in the Kvarken archipelago. The otter was very common earlier, but disappeared from the area in the 1960s. The decrease was due largely to environmental toxins, but it was not unusual that they drowned in fishing gear. After placing out a couple of individuals in the 1980s, it seems that the Kvarken otter population is slowly coming back. The muskrat has declined sharply in recent years, while the mink population has increased in the area. Both mink and fox can do great damage in bird breeding areas because they eat eggs, chicks as well as adult birds. Raccoon dog, badger, pine marten and ermine are other predators that move in the area, along with occasional visits by lynx, wolf and bear.

Image 1: Red fox (Vulpes vulpes)

(Eurasian) elks are good swimmers and are accustomed to move between the islands in the archipelago. The deer, which spread from Sweden to Finland, is also not an uncommon sight in Kvarken. The same goes for the white-tailed deer that have come from the south. Voles and other rodents also thrive in the archipelago, and sometimes you can see the hare and the European hare. The endangered Siberian flying squirrel can be found in the Kvarken area but enjoys more the older forests on the mainland.

Sources:

Metsähallitus. 2010. Skötsel- och användningsplan för Kvarkens yttre skärgård, förslag

Hietikko-Hautala T. 2010. Jääkauden jälkinäytös – Merenkurkun saariston maailmanperintö. Waasa Graphics, Vaasa

Rassi P., Hyväringen E., Juslén A., Mannerkoski l. 2010. Suomen lajien uhanalaisuus – Punainen kirja 2010. Ympäristöministeeri ja Suomen ympäristökeskus, Helsinki.

Rinkineva L., Bader P. 1998. Kvarkens natur. Kvarkenrådets publikationer 10, Vaasa