Flora and fauna

The flora of Lahemaa, just like that of the whole of North Estonia, is quite poor. More than 70% of Lahemaa’s territory is covered with forests. The majority of them are dry boreal, heath and ombrotrophic bog forests, poor in species. Narrow strips of flood plain forest can be found on river banks. On colluvial deposits at the foot of the Klint, a relic broad-leaved forest has been reserved. In the valley of the Altja river there are boreo-nemoral spruce forests. Larger swamp forests can be found under the escarpment in Koljaku and on the banks of the Pudisoo River. The natural landscapes also include raised bogs, the vegetation of which belongs to a transitional zone between the raised bogs of East Estonian and West Estonian types. The largest raised bogs are Laukasoo, Viru, Vanasilla and Pudisoo, located amidst former coastal ridges. Less than 10% of the area of Lahemaa is covered with meadows, which are rich in vascular plant species. Best-known among rare plant species growing in Lahemaa are Lunaria rediviva, growing in some places on talus under the Klint, and Rubus arcticus, Mulgedium sibiricum, and Lathyrus maritimus.

Lahemaa forests offer good habitats for large mammals, including large predators — permanent communities of bear, wolf and lynx live here. The rivers of Lahemaa and its environs were the home of Mustela luterola, which has recently become extinct in Estonia, Pteromys volans has been found in forests. Numerous bird species inhabit the forests; the sea coast offers resting places for hundreds of thousands of migratory waterfowl, especially for Clangula hyemalis, different species of Melanitta and Gavia.

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