The threat status of Finnish species is evaluated every ten years; most recently in 2010. The results of the assessment are published in the Red List of Finnish Species, listing Regionally Extinct, Threatened, Near Threatened and Data Deficient species.
Experts in charge of the evaluation assess all species in Finland using the classification and criteria prepared by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This assessment takes account of matters such as the size and development or decline of the species' population, the size of and changes in the natural range of the species, fragmentation in its occurrences, changes in the quality and quantity of its natural habitats, and its reproductive capacity. Note is also taken of the habitats, causes of threat and threat factors of all species.
Vulnerable horned crebe (Podiceps auritus) thrives only in euthrophicated waters. © Jussi Leppänen / Image Bank of the Environmental Administration.
According to the Nature Conservation Act, any naturally occurring species in Finland whose survival in the wild is at risk can be declared a threatened species. Annex 4 of the Nature Conservation Decree contains a list of threatened species. This list is based on the Red List of Finnish Species. It does not include threatened species subject to the Hunting Act, the Fishing Act, or species which only occur in Åland.
The Nature Conservation Decree lists 2,124 threatened species, 680 of which are under strict protection. Causing damage to or destroying a habitat important to the survival of a species under strict protection is prohibited. Such prohibition takes effect when the ELY Centre has set the site's boundaries and notified the landowner of this.
If necessary, the Ministry of the Environment will prepare a conservation programme for species under strict protection. The programme presents known occurrences of the species, future development trends, and provides recommendations on conservation of the species and its occurrences.