Large carnivores and society

Large carnivores elicit strong reactions from people. On the one hand, they are feared and even hated while on the other, there is a desire to protect them and they are seen as symbols of the wilderness. In reality, most Finns know very little about our large carnivores.

A black and white drawing of a bear throwing a rock down the slope of a hill. The background has trees at the bottom of the hill. Bear and a stone. Photo: Niffe/Karhuja ja karhunkaatajia 2000, Martti Peltonen

Attitudes towards large carnivores

Finns have conflicting views concerning the management and protection of large carnivore populations. Studies have been conducted concerning how Finns about think our large carnivore populations should be managed and used when creating management plans for the wolf, the bear and the lynx. Information has also been collected by means of written surveys, interviews and public meetings. Read more about the results of the studies.

Nature photography

Seeing a large carnivore in the wild is very rare indeed, as the animals are very shy and with their keen senses they are able to steer clear of people. Photographing or filming large carnivores is not possible without hides and feeding spots. Nowadays nature photography and large carnivore tourism go hand in hand. Many nature photographers offer tourists the opportunity to see and photograph large carnivores for themselves. Read more about photography of large carnivors.


Large carnivores are interesting attractions from the perspective of tourism. Often the mere fact that there are large carnivores in the area brings with it excitement and a feeling that the nature of the area is genuine and original. Read more about large carnivore tourism.

Reindeer herding and large carnivores

A majority of reindeer owners approve of having large carnivores in the reindeer herding area, provided that the damages they cause are compensated for and their populations are managed. The views on large carnivores are the most positive in the northern reindeer herding area and among the younger age groups. Read more about damages in the raindeer herding area.

Coexisting with large carnivores

Humans and large carnivores have always lived side by side in Finland. Attitudes towards the animals have varied from good to bad over time. The myths and legends surrounding these animals have affected the attitudes and often incited fear and even hatred against our large carnivores.

Wild forest reindeer

Large carnivores are one of the reasons for the decline of the wild forest reindeer. Read more about the wild forest reindeer on site