New conservation area Kuohunlaita founded in Juuka

A while back the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation purchased an area of around 10 hectares located in Juuka after the owner offered it directly to the Foundation at a reasonable price. The new conservation area borders the extensive, untouched wetland of Kuohusuot, which is why it was named Kuohunlaita. Kuohunkierto nature trail runs close to the north-eastern edge of Kuohunlaita, and nearby the same trail also passes a lean-to and a wilderness church maintained by the parish of Juuka.

The changeable terrain of Kuohunlaita varies from open bogs to pine swamps and forest-clad moors with hollows of spruces. The area has never been ditched, so it contains a lot of natural forest and bog ecotones which are important for example for wildfowl. Capercaillies, black grouse and willow grouse are known to live in the area. The wettest part of Kuohusuot, located north of the area which was purchased by the Foundation, contains many small ponds where both red-throated divers and bean geese are nesting. The bean geese will also be finding food in Kuohunlaita.

The pine is the dominant species of tree in the forest, which also contains spruce, birch and aspen. Some felling was done in the area around 60 years ago, but because the forest has not been thinned it already has some features of a natural forest, layers and trees of different ages. Kuohunlaita is located 200 metres above sea level. Snow damage has also affected the evolution of the forest and produced decayed wood. 

Some of the ancient pine trees which were spared during the felling can now watch as a new generation of trees grows into old-growth forest, safe from commercial forestry.

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