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Biodiversity conservation in the north: history of habitat and species protection in Finland

Timo Vuorisalo and Pasi Laihonen
Annales Zoologici Fennici
Vol. 37, No. 4, Facing North: Investigating the Northern Dimension to Biodiversity (2000), pp. 281-297
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23735721
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Biodiversity conservation in the north: history of habitat and species protection in Finland
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Abstract

Biodiversity conservation in Finland has developed from old hunting and forest-use regulations towards habitat conservation based on ecological research and international agreements on protection of wildlife. Hunting of game animals and persecution of species considered as pests have been legally regulated in Finland since the Middle Ages. The first attempts to control forest destruction date back to the 1600s. Banning of spring hunting of waterfowl was suggested already in 1769. The rise of "modern" nature conservation in the late 1800s was apparently influenced by the European bird conservation movement (introduced to Finland in 1870 by Z. Topelius), the widespread criticism towards the 1898 Hunting Decree, and the growing interest towards conservation issues among biology and forestry professionals, inspired by an article published by A. E. Nordenskiöld. Already in the 1800s both hunting/persecution and habitat changes were perceived as threats to wildlife. The Nature Conservation Act, which became the cornerstone for Finnish conservation policy, was enacted in 1923. In the 20th century the numbers of protected species and conservation areas have increased. For more than a century Finnish conservationists have participated in international conservation efforts, in which Finland now participates as a member of the European Community.

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