Mammals of Finland

As one of Europe’s last wildernesses, Finland is home to healthy populations of large mammals such as the brown bear (the national animal), grey wolf, wolverine, elk (moose) and reindeer. Other common mammals include the red fox, red squirrel, and mountain hare, and interesting and exotic species like the flying squirrel, the Saimaa ringed seal and the Arctic fox.

Photo essays on Finnish mammals from Wild Europe

This list of Finnish wildlife was originally compiled from Wikipedia, but was completely revised by Heikki Henttonen, Professor of Forest Zoology at the Finnish Forest Research Institute. My sincere thanks to him for emailing me and correcting this.

There are over 90 species of mammals found in Finland and the surrounding oceans. Some were introduced from other countries in Europe, as well as other continents, such as Asia and North America. Rodents and shrews are most common in Finland.

Rodents of Finland

There are close to 30 species of rodents living in Finland. These include Muridae, such as the house mouse, brown rat and yellow-necked mouse mouse which live throughout Europe, and the Norway lemming, which only lives in Scandinavia. Some were introduced there, and they include the muskrat..

  • House Mouse Mus musculus (not common)
  • Brown Rat Rattus norvegicus (common)
  • Black Rat Rattus rattus (extinct)
  • Wood Mouse Apodemus sylvaticus (common)
  • Striped Field Mouse Apodemus agrarius (only in SE Finland)
  • Yellow-necked Mouse Apodemus flavicollis (common in S and C Finland)
  • Harvest Mouse Micromys minutus (common)
  • Common Vole Microtus arvalis (only locally in SE Finland)
  • Field Vole Microtus agrestis (common)
  • Tundra Vole Microtus oeconomus (common in Lapland)
  • Southern Vole Microtus levis (common in S and W Finland)
  • Water Vole Arvicola amphibius (common)
  • Bank Vole Myodes glareolusglareolus (common)
  • Grey-sided Vole Myodes rufocanus (common in Lapland)
  • Red Vole Myodes rutilus (common in Lapland)
  • Norway Lemming Lemmus lemmus (N Lapland)
  • Wood Lemming Myopus schisticolor (uncommon)
  • Muskrat Ondatra zibethicus (common/introduced from North America)
  • Northern Birch Mouse Sicista betulina (rare)
  • Hazel Dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius (uncommon)
  • Garden Dormouse Eliomys quercinus (rare/ectinct)
  • Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris (common)
  • Siberian Chipmunk Tamias (common/introduced from Siberia and other parts of Asia)
  • Alpine Marmot Marmota marmota (uncommon/introduced from central Europe)
  • European Ground Squirrel Spermophilus citellus (rare)
  • Siberian Flying Squirrel Pteromys volans (uncommon)
  • European Beaver Castor fiber (uncommon, W Finland)
  • Canadian Beaver Castor canadensis (introduced, common in E Finland)
  • Nutria Myocastor coypus (rare/introduced from South America)

Lagomorphs of Finland

There are 3 species of rabbits and hares found in Finland..

  • European Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus (only very locally in S Finland, spread from released pet rabbits)
  • Brown Hare Lepus europaeus (common)
  • Mountain Hare Lepus timidus (common)

Insectivores of Finland

There are 8 species of insectivores living in Finland. Six of the 8 are shrews, from the Common Shrew to the Water Shrew. Common Shrews are very common in the forests of Finland. A species of mole and a hedgehog are the remaining insectivores.

  • Common Shrew Sorex araneus (common)
  • Eurasian Least Shrew Sorex minutissimus (rare)
  • Eurasian Pygmy Shrew Sorex minutus (common)
  • Taiga Shrew Sorex isodon (uncommon)
  • Laxmann’s Shrew Sorex caecutiens (common)
  • Eurasian Water Shrew Neomys fodiens (common)
  • Lesser White-toothed Shrew Crocidura suaveolens (common)
  • Greater White-toothed Shrew Crocidura russula (common)
  • Western European Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus (common)
  • European Mole Talpa europaea (common, S and C Finland)

Bats of Finland

Seven bat species live in Finland and some others are regular or occassional visitoes.

  • Lesser Horseshoe Bat Rhinolophus hipposideros (common)
  • Greater Horseshoe Bat Rhinolophus ferrumequinum (uncommon)
  • Common Noctule Nyctalus noctula (regular visitor S Finaland, not breeding)
  • Lesser Noctule Nyctalus leisleri (rare)
  • Daubenton’s Bat Myotis daubentonii (common in S and C Finland)
  • Whiskered Bat Myotis mystacinus (S and C Finland, uncommon)
  • Myotis brandtii (S and C Finland, uncommon)
  • Natterer’s Bat Myotis nattereri (S Finland, uncommon)
  • Myotis dasycneme (occassional visitor)
  • Northern Bat Eptesicus nilssoni (common)
  • Eptesicus serotinus (occassional visitor)
  • Common Pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus (occassional visitor)
  • Pipistrellus nathusi (rare, S Finland)
  • Pipistrellus pygmaeus (occassional visitor)
  • Savi’s Pipistrelle Hypsugo savii (common)
  • Brown Long-eared Bat Plecotus auritus (common in S and C Finland)
  • Parti-colored Bat Vespertilio murinus (occassional visitor)
  • European Free-tailed Bat Tadarida teniotis (common)

Carnivores of Finland

Thirteen species of carnivores are found in Finland. Many of the larger carnivores were in danger of dying out. Other than Russia and some other eastern European countries, Finland is the last stronghold for Gray Wolves in Europe.

  • Least Weasel Mustela nivalis (common)
  • Stoat/Ermine Mustela erminea (common)
  • European Polecat Mustela putorius (nowadys only in E Finland, uncommon)
  • European Mink Mustela lutreola (very rare)
  • Pine Marten Martes martes (common)
  • European Otter Lutra lutra (common)
  • Eurasian Badger Meles meles (common)
  • Wolverine Gulo gulo (rare)
  • Red Fox Vulpes vulpes (common)
  • Arctic Fox Alopex lagopus (critically endangered)
  • Raccoon Dog Nyctereutes procyonoides (common/introduced from Asia)
  • Gray Wolf Canis lupus (rare)
  • Eurasian Lynx Lynx lynx (common)
  • Brown Bear Ursus arctos (common)

Pinnipeds of Finland

Pinnipeds includes all the Seals, Sea Lions, and the Walrus. Two pinniped species are native to Finland year round (most living on the northern coast), but other species, such as the Walrus, may migrate there during certain times of the year. The Saimaa Ringed Seal is a subspecies of Ringed Seal native exclusively to E Finland and is a famous animal there, though it is also one of the most endangered seal subspecies in the world.

  • Harbor Seal Phoca vitulina (common)
  • Ringed Seal Pusa hispida (common, but landlocked subspecies Phoca hispida saimensis in endangered)
  • Gray Seal Halichoerus grypus (common)
  • Harp Seal Pagophilus groenlandicus (common)

Artiodactyls of Finland

The order of Artiodactyl includes all even-hooved mammals. There are 7 species that can be found in Finland. Many species have been either introduced or reintroduced there.

  • Wild Boar Sus Scrofa (rare, mainly in SE Finland)
  • Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus (common in S and W Finland)
  • White-tailed Deer Odocoileus virginanus (common/introduced from North America, S and W Finland)
  • Fallow Deer Dama dama (uncommon/introduced from other parts of Europe, only locally in S Finland)
  • Red Deer Cervus elaphus (very rare/became extinct but recently spreading from Sweden)
  • Semidomesticated Reindeer Rangifer tarandus tarandus (common, only in Lapland)
  • Wild forests reindeer Rangifer tarandus fennicus (local populations in E and W Finland)
  • Moose Alces alces (common)
  • European Bison Bison bonasus (rare/recently reintroduced from Poland)
  • Mouflon Ovis musimon (introduced onto one island in the N Baltic)
  • Musk Ox Ovibos moschatus (very rare/recently reintroduced from Greenland)

 

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