Large carnivore sightings

In Finland, the numbers and territories of large carnivores are monitored by a network of carnivore contact persons. If you see a large carnivore, its tracks or droppings or a carcass left behind by a large carnivore, you can ask the carnivore contact person of the local game management association to verify your sighting. If a large carnivore causes damage or harm near your home, or you get into a road accident with a large carnivore, call the emergency exchange (tel: 112) to notify the police.

Sightings are important in estimating the number of large carnivores

Finland's game management associations have contact persons who log large carnivore sightings that they have verified into the Tassu sighting system. The regional offices of the Finnish Wildlife Agency are also monitoring the development of large carnivore populations in their areas. National Resources Institute Finland is responsible for drafting national population estimates for our large predators based on this sighting data.

The police are able to react to sudden, threatening situations in cooperation with SRVA (Suurristavirka-apu), an organisation that provides official assistance in matters involving large game animals. Tracking an injured large carnivore or repelling a predator that has ventured into a populated area is not an act of hunting, but a voluntary animal protection measure authorised by the police.

Did you see a large carnivore or signs of one?

A large carnivore sighting can consist of seeing the animal itself, or spotting the tracks, droppings, carcasses, claw marks or other signs left behind by the carnivore somewhere in the wilds. You should give a detailed report of your sighting including precise location information to the local large carnivore contact person. You can find his or her contact information on the website of the Finnish Wildlife Agency or by asking the local game management association. By reporting your sighting you are taking part in game animal research. 

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Prepare for large carnivore encounters

A large carnivore that causes damage, repeatedly acts in a problematic manner or ventures into a populated area must always be reported to the emergency exchange (tel: 112). Always remember that an injured or sick large carnivore is dangerous and can act erratically. In conflict situations involving large carnivores, the police cooperate with SRVA (Suurristavirka-apu), a volunteer-based organisation that provides official assistance in matters related to large game animals. The primary aim is to scare the predator away from coming too close to populated areas. The animal is only put down if it is badly injured or poses a danger to humans. 

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