In both lynx and bear population the trend has been favourable. In the past decade the bear population has grown by 90 individuals and the lynx population by 450 individuals. The current population management practices have proven quite good and there is no cause for major changes. The main goal is to maintain viable populations of individuals that fear humans, minimise damages caused by lynx and bear, and increase the knowledge of the citizens on these animals.
The objective is to maintain the populations at a favourable conservation status. The numerous measures presented in the management plans take account of the economic and social impacts of lynx and bear and the biology and ecological needs of the animals.
Four population management areas for bear and two for lynx
For managing the bear population Finland has been divided into four population management areas: reindeer herding area, area with an established population, spreading zone, and management area for a developing population. In the reindeer herding area and area with an es-tablished population the current population is maintained. In the eastern parts of the latter the population density has become thicker, and there the population could be reduced from the present. In the spreading zone moderate population growth is allowed to ensure that bear spreads in the areas for a developing population. In areas with a developing bear population the number of bears is allowed to increase within limits set by the population density and structure of economic activities. Hunting based on population management regulates the trend in the bear population in each management area.
For managing the lynx population Finland has been divided into reindeer herding area and the other parts of the country. In the reindeer herding area the lynx population is not allowed to increase, but the possible movement of lynxes between Scandinavia and Russia will be ensured. In granting hunting licences the focus will be on individuals which cause damage to reindeer. In the other parts of Finland the aim is to create an established lynx population that allows a natural spread of lynx as well as new habitats that are in accordance with the special regional characteristics. However, lynx population in areas were the density is growing is restricted by hunting based on population management.
Deputy Director-General Christian Krogell, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, tel. 358 (0)9 160 53373, 358 (0)40 735 3173
Senior Officer Madeleine Nyman, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, tel. 358 (0)9 160 52469, 358 (0)40 752 3302
Research Director Vesa Ruusila, Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, tel. 358 (0)20 575 1402, 358 (0)40 840 6877