Conservation of large carnivores

Finland is bound by both national and international agreements to maintain healthy predator populations. Minimum viable population (MVP) is a concept used by zoologists to describe the minimum number of animals in a population that allows the species to survive into the future without going extinct. If the population of a species is too low, it is probably brought down by a combination of factors, even if everything seems to be fine on the surface.

A wolf in a Finnish landscape, behind a small tree, looking at the photographer. Wolf. Photo: Eero Kemilä

Present situation

The number of lynxes and bears in Finland is so high that the species will probably remain a part of Finnish nature for generations to come. The number of wolves and wolverines, however, is so low that they would have already disappeared without conservation efforts and animals migrating into the country. A few dozen wolverines migrate into Finland each year. The Finnish wolf population is still completely reliant on wolves migrating from Russia, even though wolves are already breeding in our country.

Conservation methods

The methods of large carnivore conservation include research, raising awareness, influencing attitudes, transplantations and prevention and compensation of damages.

Degree of endangerment

Finnish large carnivores are endangered because of their very small and limited populations.


The basic idea behind animal transplantation is to restore a viable population to an area where the species has previously disappeared from in a manner that does not limit or prevent the free movement of animals.