Towards flyway-level adaptive duck management in Europe


This project aims to develop population models needed for adaptive duck management in Europe. The project started in July 2016 and was funded by Haavikko-foundation. The year 2017 will be funded by Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation.



Blog posts related to European waterfowl management:

In English

A requiem for birds killed by alien predators
Migratory ducks are no ones property in EU
Where do the ducks come from? (European view)
The 4th Pan European Duck Symposium in Hanko
Vanishing wigeons and fading horsetails
What if species conservation leads to conflict?
Asymmetrical competition in boreal lakes

In Finnish

Uudet tuulet muuttavien lintujen kannanhoidossa
Kun tyhjästä on paha nyhjästä – mitä muuttoreittitasoiseen sopeutuvaan kannanhoitoon tarvitaan?
Elinympäristöjen muutokset uhkaavat sorsakantoja sekä Euroopassa että Pohjois-Amerikassa, osa 1
Elinympäristöjen muutokset uhkaavat sorsakantoja sekä Euroopassa että Pohjois-Amerikassa, osa 2
Häviää haapana, katoaa korte 
Jos lajin suojelu johtaakin konfliktiin?
Kuinka kääntää yleinen mielipide metsästystä vastaan, Maltan malli
Vieraspedot lintujen kimpussa
Epätasaista kilpailua karuissa järvissä – sorsat ja kalat samoilla apajilla

Nesslingin säätiön blogi “Euroopan sorsat tuotetaan pohjolan järvissä, ja nyt niissä on jokin vialla”

Post doc: Sari Holopainen


The effects of a fragmented city structure on wildlife: urban infrastructure as a dispersal barrier


This project aims to find solutions to urban conservation. Green pathways and wetlands are essential for urban biodiversity. The project studies urban diversity in green pathways and wetlands, and tries to find out what kind of a dispersal barrier urban infrastructure is. The project started in January 2018 and is funded by Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation.

Post doc: Mia Vehkaoja

Mia Vehkaoja on ResearchGate


Beaver-induced effects on deadwood and deadwood-dependent beetle species


The thesis focuses on investigating the role that beavers play in maintaining and increasing deadwood in the boreal zone, and how these changes affect saproxylic beetle species. The thesis will investigate the amounts and quality of deadwood produced by beaver-caused flooding, as well as explore the saproxylic beetle assemblage in these inundated or formerly-inundated wetland forests. The role of these forests in terms of saproxylic species conservation and bark beetle damage will also be investigated.

PhD researcher: Stella Thompson



Beaver in the drainage basin: use of an ecosystem engineer in ecosystem restoration.


The project deals with beaver’s effects on boreal ecosystems. The thesis has four themes which will support each other and form a coherent whole. The themes are the influences of beaver created flood to diversity of species, water quality, carbon balance and the amount of dead-wood of the drainage basin and also to the diversity of organisms of decayed tree-trunks. The data is collected from Evo.

PhD researcher: Mia VehkaojaMajTor




Duck habitat use and reproduction in boreal wetlands: importance of habitat quality and population density


Thesis was supervised by university lecturer Petri Nummi and research professor Hannu Pöysä. The research was funded by Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation.

The thesis concentrated on associations between ducks and their habitats. The focus was in boreal lake ecosystems, their long term change, variation and possible reflections to duck population processes including habitat use and population dynamics.

Sari’s thesis produced valuable information about habitat-breeding relationship of ducks and the long term changes in boreal lake habitats. Lake habitat structures experience only slow changes, which is accelerated mainly by habitat modification by the beavers. The enhancements of variables linked to ultimate habitat selection factors are crucial in barren boreal wetlands. The variation in common, yearly food abundance is reflected by itself, but also to the number of suitable habitat patches (i.e. lakes) to the brood production of ducks was emphasized. Seasonal wetlands and beaver ponds appear as food abundant patches for the ducks and regulate local brood production, especially concerning teal. In these studies the food associations in the habitat use of ducks were studied in details. For the first time the difference in food habitat association of teal and mallard were detected. These kinds of detailed studies about boreal breeding ducks are rare among many species and several species lack breeding stage studies totally.

Thesis dissertation took place in March 13th 2015. Professor Anthony Fox acted as the opponent, and professor Kari Heliövaara as the custos. The thesis is available at

Research was funded by Jenny and Antti Wihuri foundation, Haavikko-säätiö, University of Helsinki, Suomen Riistanhoito-Säätiö and Suomen Luonnonsuojelun Säätiö. All the grants were much appreciated.

PhD researcher: Sari Holopainen