The site includes two shallow, sea bays, dominated by reed Phragmites, and a largish area of adjacent farmland, situated close to Helsinki. The farmland of Viikki is separated from Vanhankaupunginlahti by a narrow zone of young, wet, deciduous forest and by some older mixed forest.
An important breeding and staging area for wetland birds. The site also supports one of the largest national populations of a breeding bird new to Finland, Panurus biarmicus (65 pairs).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The entire area suffers from considerable human impact. All parts of Viikki are cultivated, and recreational activities, especially hiking and birdwatching, are common. Housing development and road construction plans seriously threaten parts of the area. Water quality has improved in recent years as a result of new and effective sewage treatment. Laajalahti and Vanhankaupunginlahti have several bird-watching towers and wooden trails. Part of the area is a candidate SAC.
National Partial International Partial218 ha of IBA covered by Protected Area on Private Land (Viikki-Vanhankaupunginlahti, 218 ha). 36 ha of IBA covered by Specific Protection Area (Viikki, 36 ha). 141 ha of IBA covered by Specific Protection Area (Laajalahti, 141 ha). 247 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Viikki, 247 ha). 531 ha of IBA covered by two Special Protection Areas (Laajalahden lintuvesi; Vanhankaupunginlahden lintuvesi).
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Laajalahti bay, Vanhankaupunginlahti bay and Viikki. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 18/01/2022.