AL8 Red-listed alpine species

  This is an impact (I) indicator. DPSIR = drivers, pressures, state, impact, responses. 
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Alpine habitats are a primary habitat for 63 red-listed species. This corresponds to four percent of all red listed-species in Finland. Most of the threatened alpine species occur in rocky and stony habitats and in alpine heaths, but grasslands and wetlands are also important habitat types for them. In addition, 10% of threatened alpine species are not specific to any particular alpine habitat.

Different organisms are quite equally represented among the red-listed alpine species. However, the greatest number of threatened species has been found in the groups of vascular plants, spore plants and butterflies. According to the red-listed species evaluation in 2000, the number of threatened alpine species has not changed significantly since the previous assessment.

According to the estimates for the year 2010, the number of red-listed species in well-known groups, for example vertebrates, butterflies, vascular plants, spore plants and lichens, is expected to remain approximately the same. The total number of red-listed alpine species is in contrast to this expected to be greater in 2010, since in some poorly known groups of insects ten new species have already been recognized. In 2000 two species had disappeared from alpine environments. By 2010 two more species are likely to have disappeared.



Reindeer grazing, tourism, off-road traffic and construction are the human activities which threaten the alpine environment and its species the most. Reindeer grazing may in the long term change the relative abundances of plant species. These changes may then be reflected to the food chains and thus have an effect on several different species. The erosion caused by hikers and off-road traffic in particular, decreases the quality of habitats. Certain habitats which are small in area and sensitive to erosion are often vital for many threatened species.

Increasing construction in Lapland creates a local threat to the alpine nature. In addition, there is some mining activity on the alpine areas, effects of which are however usually restricted to a relatively small area. In the future, the greatest threat to alpine nature will be global change. Rising temperatures and altering precipitation change the habitats of alpine species extensively.

This indicator will be updated after the new report of the Committee for the Monitoring of Threatened Species in Finland is finished in 2010.

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