Impact of Russian Karelian forests on animal popul.. (Impact of Russian Ka..)
Impact of Russian Karelian forests on animal populations in the old-growth forests of Kainuu region
Start date: Aug 31, 2001,
End date: Jun 29, 2004
The use of the forests of Kainuu and White Sea Karelia has been very varied. Th e forests of Kainuu have been extensively exploited at various times, whereas vast wilderness areas in White Sea Karelia have remained in their natural state. Th e forests diff er largely by their structure and stock but it is likely, however, that the diff erence will decrease rapidly. Nowadays, all the more extensive timber cuttings are performed in White Sea Karelia as well, even in the old primeval forests. Th e variations in forest exploitation have created an international setting even in the worldwide perspective, where the eff ects of forestry on the structure of forests and the population of old forests can be researched and verifi ed. Th e purpose of the project was to use the moth population as an indicator of how the vast primeval forests beyond the eastern Finnish border aff ect the ability of the Kainuu preservation areas, in order to maintain the vibrant animal populations of the old forest. Th is information is signifi cant in terms of assessing and protecting the sustainability of the intensely increasing nature tourism in Kainuu. For potential clients, the taiga nature of East Finland and cross-border Karelia can off er attractive experiences. Th e intention was also to improve the cooperation between Kainuu and North Karelia/White Sea Karelia in nature tourism and to protect the sustainability of distant regions on both sides of the border. Achievements: The research was conducted in accordance with the plan, and the project also collected large amounts of target-specific information about nature. The extensive moth material was collected with feed-traps, bird populations were counted extensively with the flight-line method, and the results were recorded in a database. A regional analysis on the forest nature was also purchased from he Finnish Forest Research Institute. Upon the analysis of the research results, it became evident that both the moth and bird populations were strongest by the eastern border in Kainuu and that the border region plays a key role in preserving the versatility of the nature of the border region and developing nature tourism. The results corresponded with the expectations and confirmed the situation as per the ecological theories. The results of the project were presented in an easy-to-read book called Venjn Karjalan ermaa-alueiden vaikutus Kainuun vanhan metsn elinpopulaatioihin (Impact of Russian Karelian forests on animal populations in the old-growth forests of Kainuu region). The book consists of separate extensive articles about the bird and moth populations and a summary, which examines the development opportunities of specialised nature tourism in Kainuu and White Sea Karelia. The publications are available as a book and on the Internet pages of the Kainuu Environment Centre. The research results have been reported in scientific publications, and the produced material has been archived for future use. The information was considered appropriate for use in environmental education and marketing of the border regions after further refinements and popularisation. In the future, it was deemed necessary to initiate new projects based on the research results in Finland and in White Sea Karelia, in order to promote the nature tourism industry. The project can be regarded as accompanying the projects Return to the Sources - environmental education cherishing the traditions in 2002-2004 and Enchanted by Nature Getting Acquainted with the Boarder Area Nature in 2005-2007.
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