The species expert groups in Finland

The protection and management of species in Finland are administered by expert groups for different species and species groups. Members include researchers, environmental administration experts and professional-level enthusiasts. The main duty of the expert groups is to evaluate the conservation status of Finnish species at ten-year intervals. Group members also provide important expert assistance to the authorities on various issues related to species conservation. The groups work under the supervision of Steering Group for Evaluation and Monitoring of threatened species (LAUHA).

A white-backed woodpecker on a tree.
The white-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos) is very endangered (EN) and protected by the EU Habitats Directive. © Tuomas Lahti.

Aim for awareness

The main aim of the expert groups is to promote the protection of threatened species and to participate in evaluations of threats to species. Another aim is to increase knowledge and awareness of Finnish species, as well as species occurrence and ecology. The  expert groups also promote co-operation and information flow between researchers, administrators and enthusiasts.

Cooperation with environmental administration

The operation of the first organism expert groups began underneath the WWF Finland. WWF still has five task groups promoting the conservation of one or two species. At the initiative of the environmental administration, new expert groups were set up later.

Some organism expert group members work in environmental management, science museums, universities and research institutes. Many enthusiasts are also involved. The Natural Environment Centre of the Finnish Environmental Institute SYKE participates in the work of the species expert groups and supports their operation.

Contact information of the expert groups

Expert group for vascular plants

Chair Terhi Ryttäri, tel. +358 2952 51585,
Secretary Aapo Ahola, tel. +358 2952 52234,

Expert group for bryophytes

Chair Kimmo Syrjänen, tel. +358 295 251 666,
Secretary Kati Pihlaja, [name=kmpihl]

Expert group for lichens

Chair Juha Pykälä, tel. +358 2952 51528,
Secretary Kimmo Jääskeläinen, [name=jaaskimmo]

Expert group for fungi

Chair Lasse Kosonen, [name=laskos44]
Secretary Tea von Bonsdorff-Salminen, tel. +358 50 3185 199, [surname=vonbonsdorff]

The Conservation Committee of the Lepidopterological Society of Finland

Chair Erkki Laasonen,
Secretary Hannu Koski, [name=hkoski]
Executive manager of the Finnish Lepidopterological Society Jari Kaitila, tel. +358 50 586 8531,

Expert group for beetles

Chair Petri Martikainen, tel. +358 50 3721 529,
Secretary Jaakko Mattila,

Expert group for Hymenoptera

Chair Juho Paukkunen, tel. +358 29 412 8644,
Secretary Reima Leinonen, tel. +358 40 529 6896,

Expert group for Hemiptera

(Hemiptera, Neuroptera, Megaloptera, Raphidioptera, Mecoptera, Psocoptera, Thysanoptera, Orthoptera, Dermaptera, Blattodea)
Chair Arto Muinonen,
Secretary Jukka Kettunen, [jukka.olavi.kettunen]

Expert group for Diptera

Chair Jaakko Pohjoismäki,
Secretary Kaj Winqvist, [name=zeitkajw]

Expert group for aquatic insects

Chair Jari Ilmonen,
Secretary Jukka Salmela, firstname.e.surname

Expert group for spiders (Arachnida, Myriapoda, Thysanura, Collembola)

Chair Varpu Vahtera,
Secretary Riikka Elo, [name=riaelo]

Expert group for crustaceans

(Crustacea, Annelida, Cnidaria, Bryozoa, Priapulida, Nemertea)
Chair Ari Laine, tel. +358 2063 94331,

Expert group for molluscs

Chair Ulla-Maija Liukko, tel. +358 295 251 387,
Secretary Katriina Könönen, tel. +358 29 525 1933,

Expert group for fish 

(task group in the Natural Resources Institute Finland)
Contact persons:
Mikko Olin, tel. +358 295 322 308,
Sanna Kuningas, tel. +358 295 326 026,

Expert group for amphibians and reptiles

Chair Jarmo Saarikivi,
Secretary Ulla-Maija Liukko, tel. +358 295 251 387,

Expert group for birds

Chair Aleksi Lehikoinen, tel. +358 50 318 2340,
Secretary Aili Jukarainen, tel. 0295 251 549,,

Expert group for mammals

(Operates under the Finnish Mammalogical Society)
Chair Heikki Henttonen, ext.firstname.surname
Secretary Ulla-Maija Liukko, tel. +358 295 251 387,

Further information


Senior Researcher Terhi Ryttäri, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE,


Senior Researcher Ulla-Maija Liukko, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE,


Published 2017-10-13 at 11:40, updated 2024-01-30 at 18:03
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