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Kilpisjärvi Biological Station

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Contact information:

Kilpisjärvi Biological Station
Käsivarrentie 14622
FIN-99490 Kilpisjärvi
phone +358-294140340
bio-kilpis (at)

Office in Helsinki:
Kilpisjärvi Biological Station/
Antero Järvinen
P.O. Box 17 (Arkadiankatu 7)
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki
puh.+ 358-( 0)40-5034473
antero.jarvinen (at)

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The Kilpisjärvi region is the only part of Finland extending into the Scandinavian mountain ridge. A special feature of the area is that it constitutes a continental maritime divide. Rocks containing limestone are abundant in the area. Marked relative and absolute altitudinal differences as well as the quality of soil, make the vegetation of the area particularly distinctive.

Snow melts from the mountain birch forest zone in early June. The lake usually throws off its coat of ice on about 20th of June. The growing season is one of the shortest in Europe (only some 100 days) and the mean temperature of the year is -2.3ºC, one of the lowest in continental Europe.

There are many areas containing calcareous dolomite in the Scandinavian mountain ridge which makes the vegetation of the nortwesternmost Finland exceptionally luxuriant. Mountain birch forests reach up to 600 metres.

The fauna of the northwesternmost Finland is poor but there are many low-numbered bird species here. The small-mammal population densities fluctuate in 4 or 5-year intervals, which has an impact on the nesting of birds of prey.

List of vertebrate species of northwestern Finnish Lapland

List of vascular plants of Saana and Malla area

Yearly variation in the length of day at Kilpisjärvi (click for larger image).