Who is responsible for large carnivores?

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is the highest managing and supervisory body in Finland when it comes to large carnivores. The Finnish Ministry of the Environment participates in the official preparation of large carnivore matters by means defined in the Nature Conservation Act and EU legislation. The Finnish Wildlife Agency promotes sustainable game husbandry, supports the operation of regional game management associations and executes game animal policies. Natural Resources Institute Finland conducts research on large carnivore populations and the behaviour of predators. Metsähallitus (the Finnish Forest and Park Service) participates in large carnivore conservation and population tracking efforts on state-owned lands, enables the hunting of large carnivores according to the relevant regulations and decrees and supervises hunting on state-owned lands.

Authorities

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is the highest managing and supervisory body in Finland when it comes to large carnivores. The obligations of the EU Habitats Directive to manage large carnivore populations have also been incorporated into Finnish hunting legislation. The Ministry supervises the Finnish Wildlife Agency and Natural Resources Institute Finland in order to ensure the successful conservation, management and monitoring of our large carnivore populations.

The Ministry's website may be found at mmm.fi/en

The Finnish Wildlife Agency

The Finnish Wildlife Agency promotes sustainable game husbandry, supports the operation of regional game management associations and executes game animal policies. The Agency also controls all permit-related matters subject to the Hunting Act. The Wildlife Agency monitors the status and viability of Finland's large carnivore populations and develops large carnivore related activities together with researchers. The Wildlife Agency also aims to prevent damages caused by large carnivores. The Agency prepares, compiles and updates the conservation and population management plans for our large carnivore species and their habitats. It is also responsible for providing education and guidance on the population management and hunting of large carnivores. The Metsästäjä Magazine published by the Agency plays an important role in these efforts. The National Game Council and 15 regional game councils that work in conjunction with the Finnish Wildlife Agency increase cooperation between different interest groups. A network of large carnivore contact persons comprising of people from regional game management associations reports verified large carnivore sightings to National Resources Institute Finland.

The website of the Finnish Wildlife Agency may be found at www.riista.fi/en

Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)

Natural Resources Institute Finland, or Luke, conducts research on large carnivore populations and the behaviour of predators. The age structure, sex ratio and genetic makeup of our large carnivore populations are some of the focal points of the research conducted at Luke. The Institute also looks into how the animals migrate, what they eat and how they react to human activities. The habitats of large carnivores are also researched. Luke produces annual estimates of the size, reproduction yield and hunting prospects of our large carnivore populations for the use of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. These estimates are primarily based on sighting data collected by the volunteer organisation consisting of the contact persons of regional game management associations.

Luke's website is available at www.luke.fi/en

Metsähallitus

Metsähallitus (the Finnish Forest and Park Service) participates in large carnivore conservation and population tracking efforts on state-owned lands, enables the hunting of large carnivores according to the relevant regulations and decrees and supervises hunting on state-owned lands. In Lapland Metsähallitus is responsible for performing large carnivore censuses together with Luke and the Sami reindeer herding districts. Special attention is paid to the Lappish wolverine population. In the border regions of Kainuu and Eastern Finland Metsähallitus has issued permits and licences for professional nature photography and large carnivore tourism on state-owned lands. Metsähallitus is also responsible for maintaining the suurpedot.fi service.

Metsähallitus' website may be found at www.metsa.fi/web/en

The Finnish Ministry of the Environment

The Finnish Ministry of the Environment participates in the official preparation of large carnivore matters by means defined in the Nature Conservation Act and EU legislation. According to the Nature Conservation Decree, the Ministry is responsible for monitoring Finland's native species so that their conservation status may be evaluated. However, decisions concerning large carnivores are the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, as defined in the Hunting Act. The Ministry of the Environment sets out to achieve and maintain a favourable conservation status for all of our native species.

The Ministry's website may be found at www.ymparisto.fi/en-US

The police

According to the Police Act, the Finnish police have the right to catch or put down a large carnivore that poses a danger to humans, significant danger to property or a serious danger to traffic. The police also have the right to put down an animal if its injuries are so severe that keeping it alive could be considered cruel.
The police website is available at www.poliisi.fi

Other operators

In addition to the organisations and entities listed above, a wide variety of other interested parties take part in the discourse surrounding large carnivores, including:

  • Representatives of different occupations: reindeer herders, farmers, people in the forestry industry and nature tourism operators
  • Public administration: Border Guards, municipalities, provinces, provincial federations and Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres)
  • Citizen organisations: the Finnish Hunters' Association, the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, WWF and kennel associations
  • Individual citizens