A very large northern wilderness surrounding the Lemmenjoki and Ivalojoki rivers. In the east of the area the landscape is dominated by treeless fjeld, separated by large areas of boreal forest, whereas peatlands cover most of the southern and western parts. There are numerous rivers, streams, lakes and ponds. Tourism is common, especially during summer in Lemmenjoki National Park, but in winter human activity is minimal.
An exceptionally important area for Arctic and boreal avifauna. Breeding birds include seven out of the 32 species in Europe that are restricted to the Arctic/tundra biome (when breeding) and 13 out of the 15 species in Europe that are restricted to the boreal biome (when breeding).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Reindeer husbandry (`Other' land-use and threat) has caused some erosion of vegetation. Mechanized gold washing has changed the natural state of the tributaries of the Lemmenjoki river. Part of the area is a candidate SAC.
National High International High182,809 ha of IBA covered by Wilderness Area (Hammastunturi, 182,809 ha). 61,981 ha of IBA covered by Wilderness Area (Pulju, 61,981 ha). 284,928 ha of IBA covered by National Park (Lemmenjoki, 284,928 ha). 490,895 ha of IBA covered by 2 Special Protection Areas (Lemmenjoen kansallispuisto; Pulijun erämaa).