To the main page Proposed Kalevala National Park
Park's nature
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The local landscape presents a mosaic consisting of forest, marshland and lakes. Quite a large lake called Ala-Lapukka where once the Pertunen family fished, among whom were famous rune-singers Arhippa and Miihkali.
Over centuries game hunting and fishing were practiced here. Some traces of those times have preserved - smoke ovens rooted deep in the ground, notched trees on margins of hunting grounds, and trap-holes for martens. A lot of paths were made by reindeer, elks and bears. Old roads connecting villages can hardly be made out now.

The Kalevala forest is unique; no such forest can be found elsewhere in Europe. The value of the forest is in the habitat, which has stayed the same over milleniums and where populations of endangered species of plants and animals preserved. While the western sector of the Park is prevailed by old-growth spruces, the eastern sector is dominated by pine-tree.

Photo of the Park

A natural pine stand appears before a traveler in all its diversity. This may be a young light stand consisting of even-height trees, or a mature stand made of columns of tall trees and young undergrowth.
Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) inhabits the region, in summer a tourist may encounter on Forest Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus fennicus) with a fawn pacing on a path along a riverbank.
In spring, Golden Eagle (Aguila chrysaetos), the king of the virgin forest, circles above mire islands to protect its nest. Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) hunts in lakes. Sometimes, White-Tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) spreads its wings above this area. Breeding sites of rare Black Kite (Milvus migrans), which contests with noiseless and large-headed Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa), have been detected here. At the beginning of summer, Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) and Bean Goose (Anser fabalis) make nests on fringes of mires, and numerous flocks of geese browse in mires.

Last updated 01.06.01 © European Commission 2001 web design - SZA