For nature-lovers, Lapland is a destination with unquestionable appeal and an ideal location for wildlife tourism. Stretching across sections of Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia, it’s a vast region presenting a unique and at times harsh habitat for wildlife as the area oscillates between mild summers and freezing winters. Each year, Lapland sees an average of 175-225 days of snow. Between December and February temperatures can even dip to -30 degrees celsius. Although the sun barely sinks beneath the horizon during the summer, winter days see just a few hours of daylight at a time.
The Landscape of Lapland
Lapland has a total of eighteen National Parks, each with its own unique geography. The largest in Swedish Lapland – Padjelanta National Park – hosts two large lakes and has a flat, expansive landscape, contrasting with the rolling hills of Sarek National Park to the east. Parts of the region have been named a UNESCO world heritage site, including the at times mountainous Stora Sjöfallet National Park.
Roaming the Land
Encompassing forests, mountains and lakes, Lapland’s varied terrain plays host to both common and endangered mammals. One of the largest carnivores in the region is the Brown Bear. Other rare species include Wolverines, Eurasian Lynx and Arctic Fox – predators to Reindeer and Norwegian Lemmings. Large herbivores such as the Moose, boasting impressive antlers, reside in the forests and more humid marshlands.
Taking to the Skies
In the air, Lapland boasts an impressive array of birds, with more than one hundred species to be seen in the area’s many national parks. Included are birds of prey such as the Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon and Rough-Legged Buzzard, and seabirds such as the Long-Tailed Jaeger. The Rock Ptarmigan, Wryneck Woodpecker, Snowy Owl, Snow Bunting, Lapland Longspur and European Golden Plover can all be seen by birdwatchers at points across the region.Great Grey Owl or Lapland Owl lat. Strix nebulosa
Wildlife Tourism in Lapland
For tourists with a keen interest in wildlife, there are a huge array of opportunities to get up close with the flora and fauna of Lapland. Tourism revolves around outdoor activities including trekking, fishing, rafting and biking during the summer months, and snowboarding, skiing, and reindeer and dog sled safaris during the winter. National Parks offer the chance to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Lapland – with some parks more demanding than others, depending on your hiking and navigational experience. To begin your wildlife tour of Lapland, contact us today – we can help tailor a suitable wildlife holiday to suite your tastes and goals.