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Wildlife in Lapland

With Lapland's frosty conditions, it's difficult to fathom just what animal species could survive here. And yet, nature somehow manages to carry on. Lapland is actually home to a number of cold-loving animals, including Arctic foxes, rare lynxes and of course, whole herds of reindeer.

If you're interested in getting in touch with Lapland's snow-happy wildlife, here are some animals you can look forward to seeing and the best ways to catch a glimpse.

Lapland wildlife


Reindeer are so abundant in Lapland, it's said that there are as many reindeer as there are people. Lapland's capital city Rovaniemi is even coincidentally mapped out like a reindeer. Odds are if you're visiting Santa at his workshop, you're bound to encounter a few of these furry creatures poking around, but there are also plenty of wild reindeer roaming these snowy parts.


The Eurasian Lynx can be found across northern, central and eastern Europe, and though they're incredibly rare in Lapland, you still can spot them out in the wild. A medium-sized cat, they're designated by their greyish coats speckled with black and pointy ears made taller by long black hairs.

Great grey owl

Though one of its nicknames is the Lapland owl, great grey owls are not as common in this part of the world as the name suggests. They are here though, and while their brown and white speckled coats might make them difficult to spot, the feat is made all the more easy by the great grey owl's size. It's documented as being the world's largest owl species, and can range anywhere from 61 to 84 centimetres in length.

Brown bears

Finland on the whole is estimated to house around 1,500 brown bears, a few of which can be spotted in Lapland. They tend to avoid people so you'll have to venture deep into the forest to find them, but there are many bear-spotting trips you can join that generally run from April to September.

Arctic fox

With its snowy white coat, the Arctic fox looks as if it was made to live especially in Lapland. But come summertime, that winter coat adapts and becomes a brownish hue, helping it hunt and stay safe from predators of its own. Its incredibly thick coat is designed to keep it warm in icy temperatures – the Arctic fox doesn't start to shiver until the weather drops to around -70°C.


No, not from the 'X-Men', though there's definitely a resemblance with their claws. Wolverines are stocky characters covered in varying shades of brown fur. They closely resemble the look of a bear, but instead of a short and stubby tail, a wolverine's tail is long and bushy.

Wildlife tours

Reindeer safaris

With a reindeer-pulled sled, you can travel through Lapland as the native Sami people did, cutting through the snow and whisking past tall, snow-capped trees. Many of the reindeer safaris will lead you in the direction of Santa Claus, but if you're lucky you'll spot some wildlife en route.

Husky tours

Aside from Northern Lights tours, husky tours are among the most popular tours in Lapland as it's pretty difficult to resist a furry husky face. Many of the husky tours will have you starting at husky farms where these adorable fuzzballs live, before strapping them up to a sled and pulling you through the snow.

Snowmobile tours

These lightning-fast tours will have you flying through the snow, so make sure you protect your face from the chilly winds. Because of a snowmobile's quicker nature, you'll stay out and about for longer and venture farther into the wilderness. Be advised, however, that there are often age requirements for driving a snowmobile.

Ice-fishing excursions

Pair up with an experienced guide, and you'll be taken out to known fishing spots where you can drill into the ice and have your turn at catching what's lurking beneath the surface. The best fishing conditions are earlier in the day though, so these tours will often have you up and ready early in the morning.

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