Large Carnivores in Finland

Large Carnivores in Finland

Large carnivores in Finland are large predatory mammals that prey on other mammals. These animals are usually not food for other animals before they die. After their death they are converted back into plant food. Carnivores don’t kill for fun; they do it to survive, to live, and to reproduce, just like all other life forms on this planet.


A carnivore (from Latin caro, meat and vorare, to eat) or carnivore in ecology is any organism that uses only animal tissue for food. This tissue can come from invertebrates as well as from vertebrates.

Finland has four large land carnivores

There are four major carnivorous species in Finland, all of which belong to different families. The lynx is a feline, the wolf is a canine, the brown bear is of the Ursus family, and the wolverine is of the weasel family. They are classified as large carnivores based on their size and behavior. Large carnivores are apex predators: they are at the top of the food chain. The ecological definition of predator includes all animals that prey on other animals and kill them to eat their flesh or blood. Our land-dwelling large predators belong to the Carnivora order of mammals.

The meaning of large carnivores

Large carnivores are a valuable part of the Finnish nature. From nature’s perspective, large carnivores are part of nature’s own regulatory system that maintains balance in the ecosystem.


Evolution has given large carnivores the task of sustaining the populations of large herbivorous mammals. The individual animals that prey on carnivores are often weak, meaning that the carnivores also maintain the health of the prey populations.

Benefits for humans

In today’s world, large carnivores are used in a different way than they used to when the skins were used. Large carnivores are still hunted today, but nowadays people also want to photograph them with cameras. They are now regional tourist attractions. The fact that there are large carnivores in an area is often enough to enthuse travelers and create a feeling of untouched, pristine nature.

The four great carnivores in Finland

Brown bear
Brown bear (more info)
Wolverine (more info)
Wolverine (more info)