Finnish game stocks have several characteristic features due to the ecology in the boreal forest zone of the northern hemisphere.
The variety of species is wide and many game species in forest habitats, for instance, are thriving compared with Central Europe where fragmentation of habitats and human impact on nature have been more maked.
Forest hare, grouse, moose and large carnivores (brown bear, wolf, lynx, wolverine) are examples of game species with a good and strong stock even though fragmentation of habitats has cut the abundance of grouse and forest hare also in Finland.
There is a wide variety of different game species in Finland but the population of individual species, for instance moose, is rather modest. This can be partly attributed to the harshness of northern climate but it is also due to the damages caused by game to the society.
In order to prevent damages to agriculture and forestry and in traffic, moose has been hunted efficiently and it has biased the natural age and gender structure of the moose population. In the future, new measures must be found for hunting and planning the taxation of moose – measures that will safeguard the improved functioning of the moose populations’s own biological processes.
Further, Finland is an important producer of migrant game resource that is common to all Europe: the core breeding habitats of many waterfowl species lie in the marshes of Northern Finland and these species stay elsewhere in Europe only in the winter months. Such species include, for instance, northern pintail and bean goose.
The population of bean goose has diminished and the Finnish Wildlife Agency is currently participating in drafting an international management plan for the said species. The purpose of this plan is to safeguard sustainable hunting of bean goose along its entire migration route. A new kind of cross-national cooperation is required in the management of migratory game resources.