Natural Features and history of Teerisuo - Lososuo Mire Reserve

Natural Features

Teerisuo - Lososuo Mire Reserve is situated on the boundary between the natural habitats of northern and southern species, and thus the area's animal and vegetation species are very diverse. A common feature in the entire area is being in its natural-state, as there are hardly any visible signs of the felling that took place there during the past decades.

Whispers of the Spruce Mires

The forest islets in the mire reserve are for the most part spruce-dominated mixed forests, in parts of which there is an abundance of aspen (Populus tremula), birch (Betula pubescens) and goat willows (Salix caprea). There are also a lot of dead standing trees, fallen branches and charcoal left behind by forest fires. The spruce in the mires are mossy and the aspens large. There are beautiful, steep cliffs, rocky patches and small rapids especially along the course of the River Kelopuro.

The forest islets in the mire reserve are for the most part spruce-dominated mixed forests. © Risto Sauso

The old mixed spruce forests, which have an abundance of decaying wood, offer an excellent habitat for many polyporous fungi, including rare and threatened species such as Haploporus odorus and Antrodiella citronella. Many insect species require old-growth forests with an abundance of decaying wood in order to survive. The mire reserve's beetle population includes species typical of the north, south as well as the east.

The dominant undergrowth species in the forest islets is the bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus). In lush spots there are also twinflowers (Linnaea borealis), false lilies (Maianthemum bifolium) and goldenrods (Solidago virgaurea). In the more rugged spots there are lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) and crowberries (Empetrum nigrum). There are very few pine-dominated or herb-rich like forests in the area.

Open bog and spruce mire

The area consists of large open bogs and spruce mires, in their natural state and of its mires Pieni Teerisuo, Isosuo, Kuitisuo and Lososuo comprise an over 8 km long stretch of open bog in the middle of the area's low forest landscape. The Teerisuo and Rajasuo mires have more forest islets in them, but even these are open bogs of considerable size.

Teerisuo © Risto Sauso

In addition to sphagnum moss the area's mires feature hare's-tail cottongrass (Eriophorum vaginatum), deergrass (Trichophorum cespitosum), rannoch-rush (Scheuchzeria palustris) as well as mud sedge (Carex limosa), bottle sedge (Carex rostrata) and few-flowered sedge (Carex pauciflora). More lush vegetation, such as purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea), bog bean (Menyanthes trifoliata) and star sedge (Carex echinata) are found in few places. The early marsh orchid (Dactylorhiza incarnata) which is a threatened plant in the Kainuu region, can be found in the mire reserve.

Winged and fourlegged creatures

The most common mire birds met in the mire reserve are the Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) and the Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis). The most common hole nesters in the area are the Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) and the Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus); the Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) and the Three-toed Woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus) are found in smaller numbers. Hikers in the area may come across the Siberian Jay (Perisoreus infaustus), the Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), the Swan (Cygnus cygnus) or the Common Crane (Grus grus).

During winter visitors can spot many sets of tracks left behind by mammals which inhabit the area including the hare (Lepus timidus), the fox (Vulpes vulpes), the least weasel (Mustela nivalis) and the stoat (Mustela erminea). Larger tracks are left behind by bears (Ursus arctos), wolves (Canis lupus), lynxes (Lynx lynx) and moose (Alces alces).

The area is surrounded by old-growth forest reserves

Finland's old-growth forest conservation programme includes areas surrounding Teerisuo - Lososuo mire reserve, which are to be joined to the mire reserve. The joining of the areas is awaiting approval by the Ministry of the Environment. The size of the combined area will be 3,046 hectares.

Of the old-growth forest areas Kortevaara is made up primarily of spruce forest. On the area's north side there are pine dominated forests, where there are an abundance of dead standing trees and even branched and sturdy pines.

The core of the Salapuro area is made up of lush stream bank mire. © Risto Sauso

The Rajapuro and Kelopuro forests are also part of the new expanded area. The Kelovaara forests burnt down about 100 years ago and have regrown naturally after this. The core of the Salapuro area is made up of lush stream bank mire. The forests here are quite young, but in their natural state. The area's most significant small bodies of water include the Rivers Rajapuro and Kelopuro, which meander for the most part through old fresh forests and mires untouched by ditching.  

History of Teerisuo - Lososuo Mire Reserve 

The Teerisuo - Lososuo mire reserve is primarily made up of ground moraine clearly moulded by the continental glacier, in which the depressions between drumlins, hills formed by glacial action, have paludified. 

The majority of the area's forests are old-growth, which have been untouched by commercial forestry for several decades. In most places, as a result of felling, forests are in a natural-like state and grow densely. The area's mires have never been ditched. The area has never had permanent settlers either, but has rather been a plentiful hunting ground. The present day area is part of the Natura 2000 programme.