The fauna of the north is truly unique. You may have heard of the elks, reindeer and bears, but there’s more. We’ll present you with three less-known northern creatures, who have also inspired Novita’s yarn colours. The 7 Brothers Polaris yarns are named after these endangered species, and for every ball of yarn sold, Novita donates 10 cents to WWF Finland.


Wolverine

Sure, you’ve seen Wolverine. Or Logan, or Hugh Jackman, whatever you please. But we bet you haven’t seen a Wolverine. And to be honest, so have only very few Finns. Wolverines are extremely shy animals, inhabiting the vast, desolate forests of the north. Nothing you’d expect to stumble upon on your weekend hiking trip.

In Finnish, the Wolverine is called Ahma, which refers to its way of binge eating, or wolfing down food, once it is available. The Wolverine is the smallest of the great predators in Finnish nature, outsized by bear, wolf and lynx. A grown wolverine measures around 80 cm head to tail. But size isn’t everything: The Wolverine is a fierce killer. It moves with ease through deep snow and can easily kill a reindeer. In fact, more reindeer are killed in Finland by Wolverine than by any other predator.

This makes the Wolverine extremely unpopular among people whose livelihood depends on reindeers, and so the Wolverine is an extremely endangered species in Finland. Only between 250 and 300 individuals live in Finland.

 

Photo: Mervi Kunnasranta / WWF

 

Saimaa ringed seal

While many northern animals are found globally on the northern latitudes, the Saimaa ringed seal is a uniquely Finnish species. It is one of the rarest seal species in the world, and one of the few that live in sweetwater. It lives exclusively in and around the largest lake In Finland, Saimaa, and prefers to hibernate on the same shores year after year.

Rare as it is, it is also endangered. Since 1979, the Saimaa ringed seal is protected, and the population has slowly grown, now standing at around 400 individuals.

Like wolverines, very few Finns have seen a live Saimaa ringed seal. Since a few years back, however, WWF Finland hosts a live streaming service, where anyone can follow a seal family, as they crawl out of their nest in the spring.

 

Photo: Dmitry Deshevykh / WWF

 

Arctic Fox

The Arctic Fox is famous for its beautiful white winter fur. Unfortunately, this very fur made it a popular hunt in the late 19th century, and the Arctic Fox was almost extinct a few decades later.

Since then, the population has never really recovered. While the Arctic Fox isn’t endangered globally, in Finland only a scattered few individuals live. The main threat against the Artic Fox is climate change. Thanks to a warmer climate, the common Red Fox has spread further north, invading its arctic cousin’s territory and pushing it away. Radical decreases in mice and lemming populations makes matters worse.

In Finland, the Arctic Fox’s future is uncertain indeed. Some good news come from neighbouring Sweden and Norway, where populations have recovered somewhat.