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Story | 11/09/2022 09:26:13 | 3 min Read time

New collaboration initiative creates a model forest for predatory bird protection in Finland

UPM and Finnish Osprey Foundation (Sääksisäätiö) are collaborating to protect predatory birds in Finland by establishing an 8,000 ha large model area in UPM’s forest in Harviala, Finland.

The shared goal of the initiative is to fit predatory bird protection with commercial forestry. The initiative is part of UPM’s global Forest Action responsibility program.

The first phase of the initiative consisted of an evaluation of nesting areas and uploading the observations of hawk nests and locations of nesting boxes of owls into UPM’s system. In the second phase, a network of artificial nests is designed and created for hawks (European honey buzzard, northern goshawk and buzzard) in protected forest areas as well as in forestry areas. The territories of predatory birds in Harviala are monitored annually and the successful nesting, especially in the artificial nests, is reported as part of the initiative.

UPM’s long-term collaboration with Finnish Osprey Foundation has yielded positive results before: the population of osprey that was previously threatened has today been revived by for example building several artificial nests in UPM’s forests. This new initiative of model forests now aims to enable similar results for other threatened predatory bird species.

The evaluation made in the summer 2022 in Harviala showed three northern goshawk territories (Accipiter gentilis) and two sparrowhawk territories (Accipiter nisus). However, the actual number of inhabited predatory bird areas is likely to turn out larger as the observing is intensified. Ural owls (Strix uralensis) has been studied in Harviala forests since 1950s and today 32 nesting boxes of Ural owls are found in this area. The boreal owl (Aegolius funereus) has become a rarity in Southern Finland for reasons that are insufficiently understood. Finnish Osprey Foundation is exploring whether this species can be helped by nesting boxes that cannot be reached by marten.

”In the Harviala area we have been able to combine the important protection of predatory birds with forestry operations. This new Forest Action initiative aims to demonstrate that through sustainable forest management the structural requirements of predatory birds can be protected while ensuring the wood supply for the forest products,” says Environmental Specialist Juha-Matti Valonen from UPM Forest.

”Finnish Osprey Foundation is a non-profit organisation that promotes the protection of predatory birds and related research. We collaborate with the Finnish Museum of Natural History and their monitoring of the nests of predatory birds that annually collects the information by all bird of prey ringers and informs the The Finnish Forest Centre. This allows forest owners to receive information on nests of predatory birds in their forests and find alternatives for preserving the nests,” says Ilmari Häkkinen from Finnish Osprey Foundation.

Protection of biodiversity has been a long-term principle and ambition of sustainable forestry. UPM is currently further increasing its efforts to improve biodiversity and has set a net positive impact target on biodiversity in its own forests in Finland. Species protection is a fundamental part of biodiversity protection.

 

Further information:

  • Senior Specialist, Environment Juha-Matti Valonen, UPM Forest, tel +358 400 152 416
  • Ilmari Häkkinen, Finnish Osprey Foundation, tel. +358 400 907 310
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