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Location Finland, Lapin lääni
Central coordinates 21o 30.00' East  69o 0.00' North
IBA criteria A3, B2, B3, C2, C6
Area 220,078 ha
Altitude 800 - 1,300m
Year of IBA assessment 2000


Site description A very large wilderness of rugged fjelds in north-western Finland. The landscape is open, dominated by rocky mountains isolated by valleys or plateaus, with numerous ponds, small lakes and rivulets. Birch Betula pubescens forest covers the lower parts of the fjelds. There are many human settlements along the road bordering the area to the west. Tourism is heavy around Saana in the north for 2-3 months per year, but otherwise the area suffers only minor human impact.

Key Biodiversity An important breeding area for Arctic species. Breeding birds include 15 out of the 32 species in Europe that are restricted to the Arctic/tundra biome (when breeding). Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Anser erythropus (passage).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus breeding  1996  1 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Vulnerable 
Greater Scaup Aythya marila breeding  1996  30-50 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Melanitta nigra breeding  1996  50 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Not Recognised 
Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis breeding  1996  100 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Vulnerable 
Smew Mergellus albellus breeding  1996  5-20 breeding pairs  poor  B2, C2  Least Concern 
Red-throated Loon Gavia stellata breeding  1996  10-50 breeding pairs  poor  B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Gyrfalcon Falco rusticolus resident  1996  4-7 breeding pairs  good  A3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria breeding  1996  300-1,000 breeding pairs  poor  B3, C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Dotterel Eudromias morinellus breeding  1996  100-300 breeding pairs  medium  C2  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus breeding  1996  50-200 breeding pairs  poor  B2  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica breeding  1996  1-5 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Near Threatened 
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus breeding  1996  5-10 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii breeding  1996  50-100 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima breeding  1996  10 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus breeding  1996  200-500 breeding pairs  medium  A3, C2  Least Concern 
Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus breeding  1996  20-200 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Snowy Owl Bubo scandiacus breeding  1996  10 breeding pairs  medium  A3, B2, C6  Least Concern 
Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus breeding  1996  50-200 breeding pairs  medium  B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Bluethroat Luscinia svecica breeding  1996  20,000 breeding pairs  poor  C2  Least Concern 
Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis breeding  1996  30,000 breeding pairs  poor  B3  Near Threatened 
Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus breeding  1996  50-100 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Lapland Longspur Calcarius lapponicus breeding  1996  500-2,000 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis breeding  1996  3,000-8,000 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

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

Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases problematic native species/diseases - named species happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high

Anser erythropus Lesser White-fronted Goose 40 0 breeding pairs 0 very unfavourable
Aythya marila Greater Scaup 120 120 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Clangula hyemalis Long-tailed Duck 250 250 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Pluvialis apricaria Eurasian Golden Plover 7500 7800 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Eudromias morinellus Eurasian Dotterel 1400 1400 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Limosa lapponica Bar-tailed Godwit 45 45 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Tringa erythropus Spotted Redshank 200 200 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Calidris temminckii Temminck's Stint 800 800 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Stercorarius longicaudus Long-tailed Jaeger 1100 1100 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Bubo scandiacus Snowy Owl 10 0 breeding pairs 0 very unfavourable
Luscinia svecica Bluethroat 15000 4500 breeding pairs 30 very unfavourable
Anthus pratensis Meadow Pipit 30000 27000 breeding pairs 90 near favourable
Calcarius lapponicus Lapland Longspur 20000 30000 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Plectrophenax nivalis Snow Bunting 1700 1700 breeding pairs 100 favourable

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)  
Käsivarren erämaa Wilderness Area 219,988 protected area overlaps with site 173,264  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Tundra  70%
Wetlands (inland) Raised bogs  15%
Unknown   15%

Land use

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

Protection status National High International High173,264 ha of IBA covered by Wilderness Area (Käsivarsi, 219,989 ha). 219,755 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Käsivarren erämaa).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Käsivarsi fjelds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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