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The Kokemäenjoki Estuary

The Kokemäenjoki estuary is located in the Pori and Noormarkku areas and it is the widest river estuary in Finland and the Nordic countries. The total surface area of the Natura area is 2,885 hectares. Part of the area is included in the National Wetland Conservation Programme, and the area has also been classified as an IBA area (an internationally Important Bird Area). Part of the herb-rich forested islands of the estuary are included in the National Herb-Rich Forest Conservation Programme. The estuary has an important status in the conservation of habitats linked to river estuaries and land uplift.

The natural environment

Kokemäenjoki estuary's Natura area extends from the actual river right down to the sea. The outermost parts of the estuary are very open compared to the inner parts. On the basis of their tree stands, the inner parts of the estuary also contain entirely indigenous estuary islands. Some of the islands are partly covered with very herb-rich forest. Succession occurs rapidly in the estuary area because the vegetation advances due to land uplift and soil brought down by the river.

Fleiviikki Meadow, one of Southern Finland's most typical coastal meadows, is located in the area. It has been grazed ever since the meadow rose from the sea. The meadow is the last part of the estuary with continuous grazing. In contrast, the last part of the estuary's previously extensive flood meadows can be found on the riverside in Launanen.

Breeding bird population in the area is very rich and diverse. Over one hundred species of bird breed in the area. The globally endangered Corncrake, the Bittern, the Marsh Harrier and the Spotted Crake are among the species in the Birds Directive, Annex I, which nest in the area. Also in the area are species of which over 15% of the European breeding population is in Finland, and which, for that reason, are considered to be species especially at risk in Finland according to the national threat category assessment. There are also nearly one hundred pairs of Little Gull. It is estimated that 30-45% of Europe's breeding population is in Finland. The estuary area also has an important status as a resting place during the migration period and as a moulting area for waterfowl.

Published 2014-06-18 at 15:35, updated 2014-06-18 at 15:35