Alina E. Yakimova, PhD, Senior Researcher of Institute of Biology of the Karelian Research Centre of RAS (185910, Russia, Republic of Karelia, Petrozavodsk, Pushkinskaya Street, 11); iD ORCID: 0000-0001-9196-1808; e-mail:
Irina S. Gaidysh, PhD, Vice-Director for Research, Environmental Education and Environmental Monitoring of the Kostomuksha State Nature Reserve (186930, Russia, Republic of Karelia, Kostomuksha, Priozernaya Street, 2); iD ORCID:; e-mail:

Reference to article

Yakimova A.E., Gaidysh I.S. 2021. The species composition and abundance of terrestrial small mammals in the Finnish-Russian Friendship Nature Reserve. Nature Conservation Research 6(Suppl.1): 127–136.

Section Research articles

The Finnish-Russian Friendship Nature Reserve is a relatively undisturbed area, where human influence on ecosystems is small. Research here is particularly important as this area is a highly vulnerable northern forest land and an essential element of the Green Belt of Fennoscandia. Small mammals are often used as model objects in studies of a great variety of ecological issues. Generalised data are provided on the species composition and abundance of small mammals encountered in model areas in the Finnish-Russian Friendship Nature Reserve during specialised surveys in 1995–2003. Activities on the Finnish side were carried out in the Elimyssalo Nature Reserve, featuring virgin coniferous forests and numerous small mires and streams, and in the Ulvinsalo Strict Nature Reserve, which also contains undisturbed coniferous forest areas, wetlands and small rivers, and falls under strict protection regulations. On the Russian side, research was done in the Kostomuksha State Nature Reserve: along the phenological route and in the Kalivo locality. The first area was monitored on a long-term basis for environmental changes, which was somewhat disturbed by infrastructural developments in the Kostomuksha District, in the Kalivo locality, mostly occupied by undisturbed native coniferous forests. We found that the small mammal populations are typical for north-boreal Fennoscandia. The number of species encountered in the areas over the study period is however significantly lower than in Finland or Karelia. This suggests that the study area has been understudied. A comparison of the species composition and abundance of small mammals among the models areas showed that the universal dominants were Sorex araneus and Myodes glareolus, while the presence of other species in the samples varied. The analysis of variations in the mammal abundance revealed a spatial synchronisation of fluctuations in some pairs of the model areas for dominant species, while all other species demonstrated various degrees of agreement in abundance variations. In addition, a temporal synchronisation of abundance fluctuations of some species was registered on each studied site. The studies on the species composition and abundance of small mammals in the Finnish-Russian Friendship Nature Reserve need to be extended both by continuing the time series of surveys and by implementing specialised activities to study the environmental factors influencing this mammal group.


abundance, dominants, insectivores, population dynamics, rodents, spatial and temporal synchronisation

Artice information

Received: 23.08.2020. Revised: 14.02.2021. Accepted: 19.03.2021.

The full text of the article

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