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Location Finland, Länsi-Suomen lääni
Central coordinates 22o 7.00' East  60o 56.00' North
IBA criteria B1i, B3, C3, C6
Area 2,090 ha
Altitude 40 m
Year of IBA assessment 2000


Site description Three adjacent, shallow and nutrient-rich lakes with lush vegetation on the upper course of the Lapijoki river. Some parts of the shoreline are bordered by wide marshes. The water-levels of Koskeljärvi and Pitkäjärvi lakes are regulated, which has increased the lake's value for birds on the former, but on the latter has caused over-eutrophication. Koskeljärvi, the most important ornithologically, is the largest lake in south-western Finland without any settlements on its shores.

Key Biodiversity An important breeding area for wetland birds, including nationally important numbers of Circus aeruginosus (6 pairs). Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Haliaeetus albicilla (max. 6 individuals, passage).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Common Pochard Aythya ferina breeding  1997  146 breeding pairs  good  B3  Vulnerable 
Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena breeding  1997  93 breeding pairs  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Spotted Crake Porzana porzana breeding  1997  26 breeding pairs  good  B3, C6  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2010 medium very unfavourable low
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - abstraction of surface water (unknown use) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - nutrient loads happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Aythya ferina Common Pochard 145 34 breeding pairs 24 very unfavourable
Podiceps grisegena Red-necked Grebe 90 38 breeding pairs 43 unfavourable
Porzana porzana Spotted Crake 25 0 breeding pairs 0 very unfavourable

Most of site (50-90%) covered (including the most critical parts for important bird species)  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Kirkkolahden luonnonsuojelualue Private Nature Reserve 2 protected area overlaps with site 1  
Tankan luonnonsuojelualue Private Nature Reserve 17 protected area overlaps with site 17  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   10%
Wetlands (inland) Raised bogs; Standing freshwater  90%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
not utilised 100%

Protection status National Low International Partial18 ha of IBA covered by Protected Area on Private Land (Kirkkolahti, 1 ha). 17 ha of IBA covered by Protected Area on Private Land (Tanska, 17 ha). 1,539 ha covered by Special Protection Area (Koskeljärvi).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Koskeljärvi, Vaaljärvi and Pitkäjärvi lakes. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife