RMK is placing the last unprotected key biotopes in the state forest under protection 24.01

Areas of high conservation value, i.e. key biotopes, located in the state forest have been inventoried since 1999. As of today, a total of 18,616 hectares of such forest areas have been placed under protection; the last big inventory took place last year, with a total of 3000 hectares of new key biotopes being added to the list as a result.

According to Kristjan Tõnisson, Member of the Management Board of RMK, the likelihood of key biotopes being discovered in the remainder of RMK’s forests is rather low. "Regardless of this fact, we will be conducting a key biotope inventory on an additional 57,000 hectares this year. We will be checking for signs of the presence of key biotopes in those forest areas, in order to prevent areas with key biotopes from being subject to cutting," explained Tõnisson.

The inventory of key biotopes is being performed by 65 RMK forest survey managers, each of whom hold the appropriate licence. Sections of forest will be observed where the likelihood of the occurrence of key biotopes is likely based on existing inventory data.

Key biotopes are habitats that are suitable for unique and endangered species, which are located on managed forest land, where, for a number of different reasons, various structures unique to natural forests have been preserved, such as very old trees, big trees that have fallen and trees that are dead or trees that have burnt. Since there are very few forest areas such as these in managed forests, and those that do exist are spread apart, it is important that forest areas with characteristics such as these be preserved in order to ensure the survival of unique and endangered species.

Key biotypes in the state forests are classified under strictly protected forests, which comprise 28% of the forest land managed by RMK.

RMK, or the State Forest Management Centre, takes care of around 30% of the total land area of Estonia, where 47% of Estonia’s forests are located. RMK is the keeper, protector and manager of the forest and other natural biotic communities belonging to the Estonian state. RMK cultivates forests, preserves natural treasures, earns income for the state by managing the forest, creates opportunities for visiting nature, and provides nature education.  

Further information:
Kristjan Tõnisson
Member of the Management Board of RMK