Wildlife – taiga forests, rivers and canyons

 

Our trips take us to Oulanka and Riisitunturi national parks.

Oulanka national park is the last corner of Siberian taiga. Siberian climate becomes the local micro climate while penetrating up along River Olanga and Lake Paanajärvi to Oulanka. This micro climate includes dry and cold/hot conditions, which are very rough to flora and fauna. All the wildlife we confront is free and exceptional. In the national park there are 384 endangered species, so we have a lot to explore.

Most of the areas around Basecamp are such that only some hundreds of people enter the area annually. This makes the animals curious. They want to see the explorers. It depends on our own interest, if we are ready to see the observers. The amazing capercaillie is certainly watching, even showing its presence and territory. The amusing otter will also be there. Siberian jay is typical curious animal, it is almost impossible to bypass this beautiful bird. The white throated dipper must be eating every morning so it is sure that we shall meet again.

Bears, wolverines and wolves are using large areas for living, It is very difficult to see them but tracking is always possible. The tensed feeling, when following the fresh tracks of the big predators, puts our hearts beat faster and makes our heads turn backwards every now and then. If you want to see the bears in very close distance, we have the possibility to visit the photo hides.

Golden eagle appears on the sky regularly. This royal bird is possible to see daily from February to May.

One of the most exotic moments is the mating display of black grouses. This wild dance and true fight takes place in spring time just after the sunrise.

National Geographic article about Oulanka National Park

The next time I visit Oulanka National Park in the far north of Finland, I want to be two feet tall. That way the autumn mushrooms will come up to my knees, and I'll find myself walking in a waist-high forest of heather and lingonberries and crowberries and lichens. At that height, too, the wood-ant nests will tower over me. I will have to keep a sharp lookout for moose and reindeer, it's true.

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