Wildlife triangles 2007
The 19th track count was made in exceptionally difficult snow conditions. The number of studied wildlife triangles was only 600, which is 20% less than in the previous winter. More than 29 000 snow tracks representing 21 mammal species were observed. The most numerous species were mountain hare (11 800), moose (5 300) and red fox (3 400). The field work was done by 2 530 hunters from about 700 hunting clubs and the total length of the census line was some 7 000 km.
Mountain hare populations have decreased by about one third from the previous winter. The strongest decline was observed in the game management districts of Kymi and Varsinais-Suomi, where the track density was halved. Red squirrel slightly increased in numbers, most clearly in the southwestern and eastern parts of Finland. The track density of red fox declined by about one fourth on average, and only in northern Finland it appeared to have increased. The mean track density of red fox has been declining during the past 20 years, the period of wildlife triangle counts. The populations of pine marten, stoat and least weasel appeared to have decreased from the previous winter. The long-term population trend for pine marten has been increasing, however, whereas the opposite is true for stoat and least weasel. Also the track density of otter declined from the previous winter, although the species has shown a marked population growth during the past two decades.
Track density of moose was equal to that in winter 2006. The population of white-tailed deer seemed to have increased especially in southwestern Finland. The snow track density of roe deer was lower than in the previous winter, but the species is still widening its distribution area in Finland. In addition, 50 wolf tracks, 46 wolverine tracks and 364 lynx tracks were recorded in snow track counts.
Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute
Oulu Game and Fisheries Research
Tutkijantie 2 E
FI-90570 Oulu, Finland
Phone +35820 575 1410