Restoring aquatic bird habitats and wetlands

The restoration of wetlands and aquatic bird habitats is essential for the protection of many of our endangered coastal and aquatic birds. Half of the bird species living in wetlands are endangered, and the main reasons for this are the eutrophication and overgrowth of wetlands.

The restoration of aquatic bird habitats and wetlands will help a wide range of endangered and declining bird species, such as the common pochard and the garganey, the coot, and many species of shorebirds. Restoration will also improve the vitality of many endangered plants and insects living in wetlands.

Most of the significant wetlands and aquatic bird habitats in Finland have already been protected or are located on state-owned land. The Helmi programme aims to restore the 80 sites that are most valuable and in most urgent need of rehabilitation measures by the end of 2023. Depending on the site, restoration measures include clearing, dredging, mowing, raising the water level, hunting small carnivores and management fishing.

The restoration measures will primarily be targeted at Natura 2000 network special conservation areas under the Birds Directive, which include the most important wetland sites and aquatic bird habitats.

The Finnish Environment Institute will investigate the order of priority for the restoration of aquatic bird habitats and wetlands, and will prepare a guide that can be used by the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment and Metsähallitus in their restoration of these sites.


Ilpo Huolman, tel. 0295 021 393, [email protected]