Kemihaara (Vuotos) mires and forests

Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
A very large complex of aapa mires, riverside forests, herb-rich mires and forested hills and ridges on the upper course of the Kemi river. The heart of the area is the avifaunally rich Kokonaapa, a large, wet expanse of aapa mires, with numerous lakes and rivers. The site encompasses large areas of semi-natural and natural boreal forest.

Key biodiversity
An important area for boreal avifauna, especially for waders. Breeding birds include 14 out of the 15 species in Europe that are restricted to the boreal biome (when breeding).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
A state-owned energy company, Kemijoki Ltd, plans to construct a reservoir above Kokonaapa and its surroundings. Over the last 10 years nature-conservation organizations and conservationists have campaigned against this initiative and for the preservation of the area in its natural state due to its importance for birds, whilst also questioning the long-term profitability of the project. The Finnish government did not propose the area as a Natura 2000 site for political and economical reasons, in spite of its ornithological importance.

Protected areas
National None International None

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kemihaara (Vuotos) mires and forests. Downloaded from on 07/08/2020.