SOTKA project to reverse the trend in declining gamebird populations

The purpose of the SOTKA (‘AYTHYA’) project of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is to build wetlands and a network of resting areas, restore mires and catchments, and capture small predators. Results are expected in just a few years. SOTKA project is part of the Helmi habitats restoration programme to strengthen biodiversity, run jointly by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Ministry of the Environment. 

The key focus of the SOTKA project in improving the status of waterfowl populations is on species that are highly demanding with respect to their habitats, but measures to restore the habitats of another one of our threatened species, willow grouse, are also included. In addition, the project examines how we could ensure that the birds can nest in peace in valuable waterfowl habitats, including wetlands and archipelago areas, by effectively capturing small predators.

The total budget of the Sotka project launched in spring 2020 is EUR 9 million for 2020–2024. Together with the Helmi habitats restoration programme, a comprehensive approach can now be adopted to the restoration of habitats. Many measures also target game species directly.

Read more via the navigation links on this SOTKA website as follows:

Read about the four subprojects: SOTKA wetlands, SOTKA resting areas, Haahka alien predators and Riekko.

Read how research supports the implementation of the SOTKA project. The project will also seek new financing opportunities to improve game species habitats.

Background information on the projects explains why waterfowl species are not doing well and how Finland is responsible for the breeding success of many European waterfowl populations.

SOTKA project responds to the problems related to waterfowl habitats after the 2019 pilot project.



Further information

Heidi Krüger, Project Manager 
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Natural Resources Department, Unit for Game and Recreational Fisheris Telephone:0295162072   Email Address: