RMK adds 58 key biotope experts to its ranks 06.10

Training was completed by 58 of RMK’s foresters / forest managers and nature conservation specialists, who gained the knowledge and skills necessary for the identification of key biotopes in nature. RMK now employs 93 people with this skill set.

The forest looked after by RMK currently contains 14,600 hectares of key biotopes, with new areas having been added each year to date. “The more of our people who receive training to be able to identify vulnerable or rare species in nature, the more effectively we can protect natural values,” explained Tiit Timberg, Member of the Management Board of RMK. “Hopefully, as we work with the Ministry of the Environment, we will also be able to increase the flexibility of the information submission system for the registration of new key biotopes.”

This past 10-day training event for key biotope stock-takers consisted of spring, summer and winter training cycles, during which instruction was provided, mostly through fieldwork, on the structure and indicator species of key biotopes. Training was conducted by the recognised key biotope experts Ahto Täpsi and Aivar Hallang, with contributions from the species experts Mare Leis (mosses), Ede Oja (lichen), Heino Õunap (insects), Indrek Sell (fungi), Toomas Hirse (vascular plants), and Anneli Palo (forest ecology). The training event ended with an exam passed by all the attendees.

The state forest looked after by RMK consists of strictly protected forest (18.4%), forest with economic restrictions (20.7%) and managed forest (60.9%). Key biotopes are classified as strictly protected forests. A key biotope is considered to be an area of up to seven hectares where it is highly likely that endangered, vulnerable or rare species are growing.

RMK is the keeper, protector and manager of the forest and other natural biotic communities belonging to the Estonian state. RMK earns a profit for the state through forest management, growing reforestation material, and organising forest and nature conservation works. In addition, RMK establishes opportunities for nature walking in recreational and protected areas and shapes nature awareness. RMK consists of the Sagadi Forest Centre, the Elistvere Animal Park, the Tartu Tree Nursery, AS Eesti Metsataim and the Põlula Fish Farm. More than 700 people work for RMK; however, the total number of people employed in the state forest is 5000.

Further information:
Tiit Timberg
Member of the Management Board of RMK
Tel: 504 5761
E-mail: tiit.timberg@rmk.ee