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Location Finland, Lapin lääni
Central coordinates 28o 0.00' East  68o 15.00' North
IBA criteria A3, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, B3, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 309,553 ha
Altitude 500 m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

BirdLife SUOMI-FINLAND



Site description A huge wilderness of fjelds, boreal forests and peatlands in north- east Lapland. Saariselkä, in the north of the area, is a barren fjeld wilderness with treeless mountain heath. Koilliskaira, to the south, is dominated by coniferous forests and aapa mires. Ponds, rivers and streams bordered by Picea abies swamps and herb-rich mires abound. In summer, hundreds or thousands of visitors trek within the area daily.

Key Biodiversity An exceptionally important area for Arctic and boreal avifauna. Breeding birds include seven out of the 32 species in Europe that are restricted to the Arctic/tundra biome (when breeding) and 14 out of the 15 species in Europe that are restricted to the boreal biome (when breeding).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black Grouse Lyrurus tetrix resident  1996  50-200 breeding pairs  poor  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Western Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus resident  1996  500-2,000 breeding pairs  poor  C2  Least Concern 
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus breeding  1996  11-50 breeding pairs  poor  C2  Least Concern 
Smew Mergellus albellus breeding  1996  10-30 breeding pairs  poor  A3, B2, C2  Least Concern 
Circus cyaneus breeding  1996  11-50 breeding pairs  poor  B2, C6  Not Recognised 
Rough-legged Buzzard Buteo lagopus breeding  1996  100-300 breeding pairs  A3  Least Concern 
Common Crane Grus grus breeding  1996  20-50 breeding pairs  poor  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria breeding  1996  1,000-5,000 breeding pairs  poor  B1i, B3, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Dotterel Eudromias morinellus breeding  1996  50-200 breeding pairs  poor  C2  Least Concern 
Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus breeding  1996  100-300 breeding pairs  poor  A3, A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica breeding  1996  11-50 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus breeding  1996  500-2,000 breeding pairs  poor  A4i, B1i, B3, C3  Least Concern 
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus breeding  1996  50-200 breeding pairs  A3  Least Concern 
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia breeding  1996  200-500 breeding pairs  A3  Least Concern 
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola breeding  1996  2,000-5,000 breeding pairs  poor  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii breeding  1996  100-300 breeding pairs  A3  Least Concern 
Broad-billed Sandpiper Calidris falcinellus breeding  1996  300-1,000 breeding pairs  poor  A4i, B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Ruff Calidris pugnax breeding  1996  300-1,000 breeding pairs  poor  B3, C6  Least Concern 
Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus breeding  1996  51-100 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Great Grey Owl Strix nebulosa breeding  1996  11-50 breeding pairs  poor  A3, C6  Least Concern 
Northern Hawk-owl Surnia ulula breeding  1996  100-500 breeding pairs  poor  A3, C6  Least Concern 
Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus breeding  1996  50-200 breeding pairs  poor  B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Picoides tridactylus resident  1996  500-2,000 breeding pairs  poor  B2, C2, C6  Not Recognised 
Siberian Jay Perisoreus infaustus resident  1996  500-2,000 breeding pairs  poor  A3, B2  Least Concern 
Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus breeding  1996  30-100 breeding pairs  A3  Least Concern 
Siberian Tit Parus cinctus resident  1996  2,000-5,000 breeding pairs  A3  Least Concern 
Arctic Warbler Phylloscopus borealis breeding  1996  10-30 breeding pairs  A3  Least Concern 
Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus breeding  1996  3,000-10,000 breeding pairs  poor  B2  Least Concern 
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata breeding  1996  1,000-3,000 breeding pairs  poor  B2  Least Concern 
Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis breeding  1996  10,000 breeding pairs  poor  B3  Least Concern 
Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus breeding  1996  30-100 breeding pairs  A3  Least Concern 
Brambling Fringilla montifringilla breeding  1996  20,000 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Pine Grosbeak Pinicola enucleator breeding  1996  400-1,200 breeding pairs  A3  Least Concern 
Parrot Crossbill Loxia pytyopsittacus breeding  1996  200-1,000 breeding pairs  poor  A3, B3  Least Concern 
White-winged Crossbill Loxia leucoptera breeding  1996  50-5,000 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Rustic Bunting Emberiza rustica breeding  1996  500-1,500 breeding pairs  A3  Least Concern 
Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis breeding  1996  100-300 breeding pairs  A3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds breeding  1996  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii, C4   

IBA Monitoring

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

Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Tetrao urogallus Western Capercaillie 2500 2500 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Cygnus cygnus Whooper Swan 11 30 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Grus grus Common Crane 200 200 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Pluvialis apricaria Eurasian Golden Plover 2000 2000 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Eudromias morinellus Eurasian Dotterel 650 650 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Limosa lapponica Bar-tailed Godwit 10 0 breeding pairs 0 very unfavourable
Numenius phaeopus Whimbrel 275 275 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Tringa nebularia Common Greenshank 325 325 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Tringa glareola Wood Sandpiper 7000 7000 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Calidris temminckii Temminck's Stint 100 5 breeding pairs 5 very unfavourable
Calidris falcinellus Broad-billed Sandpiper 1600 1600 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Calidris pugnax Ruff 550 550 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Phalaropus lobatus Red-necked Phalarope 60 60 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Picoides tridactylus 600 850 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Perisoreus infaustus Siberian Jay 5000 5000 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Bombycilla garrulus Bohemian Waxwing 750 750 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Parus cinctus Siberian Tit 4000 4000 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Phoenicurus phoenicurus Common Redstart 18000 18000 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Muscicapa striata Spotted Flycatcher 6800 6800 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Anthus pratensis Meadow Pipit 15000 17000 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Fringilla montifringilla Brambling 50000 50000 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Pinicola enucleator Pine Grosbeak 1200 1600 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Emberiza rustica Rustic Bunting 500 450 breeding pairs 90 near favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Very little or no conservation action taking place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Kemihaaran erämaa Wilderness Area 30,210 protected area contained by site 30,029  
Nalka-Aavan soidensuojelualue Protected Mire 1,471 unknown 0  
Sompion luonnonpuisto Strict Nature Reserve 17,928 protected area contained by site 17,912  
UK-PUISTO-SOMPIO-KEMIHAARA - FI1301701 Birds Directive 309,771 protected area contains site 309,553  
Urho Kekkosen kansallispuisto National Park 254,897 protected area contained by site 255,000  
Uura-Aavan soidensuojelualue Protected Mire 2,248 protected area contained by site 2,208  
Vaaranaavan soidensuojelualue Protected Mire 3,483 protected area contained by site 3,296  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   60%
Wetlands (inland) Raised bogs  30%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
other -
tourism/recreation -

Protection status National High International High30,029 ha of IBA covered by Wilderness Area (Kemihaara, 30,029 ha). 17,912 ha of IBA covered by Strict Nature Reserve (Sompio, 17,912 ha). 255,000 ha of IBA covered by National Park (Urho Kekkonen, 255,000 ha). 2,208 ha of IBA covered by Peatland Reserve (Uura-aapa, 2,208 ha). 3,296 ha of IBA covered by Peatland Reserve (Vaaranaapa, 3,296 ha). 901 ha of IBA covered by Peatland Reserve (Nalka-aapa, 901 ha). 309,553 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Urho Kekkosen kansallispuisto-Sompio-Kemihara).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Saariselkä and Koilliskaira. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/11/2014

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