Population management plans for large carnivores

The views held by Finns are sometimes conflicting when it comes to the population management and conservation of large carnivores. In order to piece together these different views, national management plans are created.

Bear is the biggest predator in Europe. In the picture the bear looks upwards. Bear is the biggest predator in Europe.

Population management is based on the latest and most reliable information available

With population management plans, it is possible to manage animal populations in the long-term and in a goal-oriented manner. The goal is to maintain the favourable conservation status of our large carnivores and to ensure that they remain a permanent feature of Finnish nature. National management plans have been created for all four of our large carnivores: the wolf, the brown bear, the lynx and the wolverine.

Population management plans try to accommodate the views and interests of different interest groups. A population management plan is always based on current and reliable information on the biology and ecological needs of the animal in question. The geographical differences in animal populations, the effects the animals have on the local humans and the views of the local people are also taken into account when drafting management plans. The management plans also facilitate the fulfilment of Finland's international conservation obligations.

When drafting a management plan, the guiding principles are transparency and citizen involvement. The goals, expectations and wishes of key interest groups and individual citizens concerning the conservation of large carnivores are taken into account in the process. This information is collected via surveys, interviews and public meetings.