Flying squirrel - Life project

Kuopio is involved in a large project coordinated by Metsähallitus Nature Services, which aims to safeguard a favourable conservation status for the flying squirrel. The application was submitted to the EU in September 2017. If the project is approved for implementation, it will begin in autumn 2018 and will continue until 2023.  The total budget for the project is about 10M€, of which Kuopio’s share is around 750,000€. In addition to cities, there are many operators in the forest sector and the voluntary organisation field.

Kuopio's aim, among other things, is to develop ways of combining the protection of the flying-squirrel and the planning of land use with the participants of the project, Espoo and Jyväskylä.  Kuopio is also involved in the development of recreational forests in mixed areas that combine the protection of the flying squirrel and the needs of residents and outdoor enthusiasts.  Additionally, Kuopio monitors the status of flying squirrels in the center of town, improves their  mobility by planting trees and increasing their population by installing more tree nesting boxes.

The Museum of Natural History of Kuopio participates in the project with a diverse section on environmental education and communication.  Within the framework of the project, an employed envoy is to be hired to arrange lessons at a primary school about flying squirrels for all Kuopio residents. Exhibitions, lectures and panel discussions are organised for the general public and the museum also produces a flying squirrel exhibition.