Saariselkä and Koilliskaira

Country/territory: Finland

IBA Criteria met: A3, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, B3, C2, C3, C4, C6 (2000)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 309,553 ha

Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2010 medium very unfavourable low
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
A huge wilderness of fjelds, boreal forests and peatlands in north- east Lapland. Saariselkä, in the north of the area, is a barren fjeld wilderness with treeless mountain heath. Koilliskaira, to the south, is dominated by coniferous forests and aapa mires. Ponds, rivers and streams bordered by Picea abies swamps and herb-rich mires abound. In summer, hundreds or thousands of visitors trek within the area daily.

Key biodiversity
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 14 out of the 15 species in Europe that are restricted to the boreal biome (when breeding).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Saariselkä and Koilliskaira. Downloaded from on 18/01/2022.