Birds of the North photo exhibition at St Henry’s Ecumenical Art Chapel

Published 1.9.2021

Sakari Alhopuro, Doctor of Medical Science and bearer of the Finnish honorary title of Lääkintöneuvos, is well known as a skilled nature photographer and big nature enthusiast. On his photography tours around Northern Finland, Alhopuro states that he is amazed at how the concrete impacts of climate change are already visible in our natural surroundings.

‘The flora and fauna in the Lapland fjelds are bearing the brunt of the climatic change effects. The decrease in snow coverage is a threat for many species, such as the wolverine and arctic fox. The arctic fox is one example of a species that is becoming extinct’, says Alhopuro.

Species and populations of insects in Lapland are particularly vulnerable to climate change. As the climate is warming, some of our insects will disappear to be replaced by new species. One of the pest insects spreading to Lapland is the European winter moth that destroys mountain birch. Its presence has been gradually increasing the treeless expanses in the fjeld areas.

‘The changes in insect species also have a significant impact on the vegetation and bird fauna of the North. Currently, there are several highly endangered species of birds in the North, including the rock ptarmigan, the snowy owl, the ruff and the red-necked phalarope.’

With his magnificent bird photos, Alhopuro endeavours to awaken us to defend our unique nature and to minimise climate change through our own actions and choices.

The Birds of the North exhibition will be put on display at St. Henry’s Ecumenical Art Chapel on 1 September 2021 and will be open to the public for the period of 2–30 September. St. Henry´s Ecumenical Art Chapel is located on the island of Hirvensalo in Turku.


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