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Plants and wildlife

You will find a rich diversity of nature in Femundsmarka which supports a number of different species. From the dry, old silver pines that house a variety of insects and lichens, to lush river valleys with colorful meadows and a rich bird life.




Nasjonalparkstyret for Femundsmarka og Gutulia
Statsforvalteren i Trøndelag
Postboks 4710, Sluppen
N-7468 Trondheim
E: sftlpost@statsforvalteren.no




Many different types of plants grow in this area, from the open blueberry forests at Femunden lake, to the vast marshes and all the way up to the barren mountain peaks. Here you can find blankets of reindeer lichen, colorful orchids and small, hardy mountain plants. The variety is so great that during a short walk you can see old pines and heather growing near flowering bird cherry and ripe raspberries.

One of the most unique species you will probably notice in Femundsmarka is wolf lichen.

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Wolf lichen

Next time you are out and about, look for a bright yellow, shrub-like lichen. This is wolf lichen and the national park has one of the largest occurrences in the country. The red-listed species grows mostly on dry, old pines, but can also be found on birch and old timber walls. Today, wolf lichen is in decline and red-listed. Old pine forests are in short supply, and lichen is struggling to find suitable pines to grow on. The trees in Femundsmarka are excellent habitats that can ensure the survival of this species. 

The lichen contains toxic vulpinic acid. In the old days, people put out pieces of meat containing broken glass and powdered wolf lichen to poison wolves and foxes. That is why the species got its name, wolf lichen.

Wolf lichen


Femundsmarka is home to exciting and rich wildlife. You can experience great wildlife sightings in all seasons. Visitors might get lucky and see rare species that require large areas in order to thrive. Bears and wolverines live in the innermost heartlands bordering Sweden. A small number of musk ox live in the far north of the national park that migrated from Dovre in the 1970s. Down in the quiet forests, moose graze while pine martens hunt small rodents. You can also see traces of both otters and beavers along the watercourses. Beavers thrive in Femundsmarka and leave clear signs of their presence in the terrain.

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The countless watercourses in Femundsmarka with both large and small trees along the water’s edge are a paradise for beavers. Visitors will notice open areas in the national park where trees have been felled. These traces left by beavers help to distinguish the landscape and create forest diversity. The beavers stay together in pairs and find a pond or river to live beside. They live here all year round. They gnaw on large trees to make a dam which causes the water level to rise. They then build a neat home of twigs and branches that has a secret underwater entrance. Beavers can live to be 20-30 years old. They have an extra set of transparent eyelids which act as built-in goggles.



Bring your binoculars! Species you might see.

During the spring, gyrfalcons might be on the lookout for cackling ptarmigan, while white snow buntings can be spotted heading north. Black-throated loons make their unique, majestic calls while diving for fish in the lakes. Femundsmarka seems to be a popular area for eastern species of birds that really belong in the taiga. Bar-tailed godwits and grey-headed chickadees are two such rarities. Birds give you memorable experiences.

Maybe you will get lucky and see an osprey swooping down to catch a fish?

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Old, flat-topped pines and countless watercourses full of fish make Femundsmarka an eldorado for ospreys. Ospreys are fantastic hunters and there are few other bird species that are so effective and accurate when hunting fish. Unlike other birds of prey, ospreys have a toe that can rotate backwards, giving the bird a great advantage when it has prey in its talons.

Ospreys always build a nest of twigs at the very top of a tall tree, usually a large pine with a flat top. Why they choose pine trees is unclear. An osprey’s nest can weigh well over 1 ton.

Why do ospreys build their nests so high and in the open? From the nest, ospreys have an overview of other birds of prey and predators. This great vantage point ensures escape routes if the birds feel threatened. It has to be said, ospreys are big sissies. Ospreys always flee if they sense danger, and they don’t put up much of a fight when confronted. What do Femundsmarka and West Africa have in common? Norwegian Ospreys spend the winter in southern regions, most often in countries southwest of the Sahara. In late winter, they start the long journey north, and many of the birds make Femundsmarka their home during the summer months.

Eagle flying.