Research programme of deficiently known and threatened species and habitat types 2021–2022 (PUTTE2)
Aiming for a stronger knowledge base to safeguard biodiversity
Research data on species and habitats lays the foundation for species’ endangered status assessments and subsequently for many measures to protect biodiversity. Stopping the loss of biodiversity and securing a favourable status are key priorities in the strategy of the Ministry of the Environment.
Reporting on the implementation of the EU Habitats Directive under the leadership of the Ministry of the Environment also requires a good knowledge base. Internationally, Finland is committed to the objectives of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, which is currently being updated for the period 2021–2030.
Research on species and habitats funded by the programme
Where applicable, the projects of the research programme must take into account the results of the fifth endangered status assessment of species completed in 2019 and the second endangered status assessment of habitats completed in 2018 and its proposals for measures, as well as the results of the Research Programme of Deficiently Known and Threatened Forest Species (PUTTE) from 2003–2016. The projects will improve the knowledge base for future endangered status assessments of Finnish species and habitats and for reporting on the EU Birds and Habitats Directive while also supporting practical conservation work.
In addition to research on species and habitats, the programme funds the production of high-quality analysis and identification guides or ecological lists of species in Finnish, in particular if they support the expansion of nature hobbies to new species or habitats and/or practical nature conservation work.
The projects produce a large amount of observation site data on species and habitats, which will be openly available in the Finnish Biodiversity Information Facility (laji.fi) and other open information systems. This ensures that the latest data is widely available.
Research projects on everything from snow beds to sawflies
A consortium project led by the University of Turku focuses on the monitoring of vegetation communities and species in snow beds. Snow beds are habitats where vegetation is shaped by a short growing season and a snow cover that does not melt until after Midsummer. In the latest endangered status assessment of habitats in Finland, all snow bed habitats were found to be extremely endangered.
Their main threat is climate change, which is estimated to make the conditions in snow bed habitats drier, shorten the duration of snow cover and lengthen the growing season. The project produces methods and research materials for monitoring vegetation changes in snow beds. The results are valuable background information for the next endangered status assessment of habitats.
A project by the University of Oulu is drawing up an identification guide for sawflies. Sawflies are a group of insects consisting of 761 species from 12 families in Finland. The group is particularly rich in species and individuals in the northern latitudes.
Knowledge on sawflies is currently limited in Finland. A key reason for this decline in knowledge is a lack of good identification literature. It has not been possible to include even half of our species in the endangered status assessment. The project aims to promote and revive knowledge of sawflies in Finland and to allow extending the next endangered status assessment to cover all the groups of sawflies.
Senior specialist Joona Lehtomäki, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 295 250 016, email@example.com