Photo Anja Vest ja Teemu Heinonen, Inka Sääskilahti, Jan W. Ahlfors, Hannu Rämä ja Håkan Söderholm

Did you see a mammal?

Spot an urban fox, badger, raccoon dog, hedgehog, squirrel or rat and report your sighting. We will be collecting valuable citizens’ sightings until 31 October

Have you seen a fox, badger, raccoon dog, hedgehog, squirrel or rat in Helsinki? Where and when?

We are collecting citizens’ sightings of six easily identifiable mammal species. The period for collecting sightings is 1 April until 31 October 2023. By taking part, you will be doing valuable citizen science and helping to determine the incidence of these species in Helsinki.

Recording a sighting is easy. You can do it in two ways.

1. Use the easy-to-use form to register your sightseeing in the database: Report of a nature sighting (

  • Additional information can include the animal's condition or activity (what the animal is doing and/or whether it may be dead or sick).

2. Save an identifiable picture of the animal free of charge in the iNaturalist app

  • The picture does not have to be of high quality, game camera shots are also acceptable.


The City of Helsinki collected sightings of these same species back in 2013. We are interested in recent sightings and changes in the distribution of animals in the urban area. 

The citizens’ sightings event is part City of Helsinki Biodiversity Action Plan 2021–2028. We will publish a summary of the recorded sightings in LUMO Watch after the event: Citizens’ sightings of event in LUMO Watch (in Finnish).


Can you already identify all the mammals in the challenge? Tell us here!

  • Raccoon dog: looks like a dog, black cheeks (unclear colour boundaries)
  • Badger: black and white face, short legs, broad stature
  • Fox: reddish brown colouring, bushy tail
  • Squirrel: bushy tail, characteristic posture and movements. Switches from a grey winter suit to a red summer one with tuft-free ears.
  • Rat: Brown with a white belly; a scaly tail almost the same length as its body
  • Hedgehog: spiny back, not easily confused with any other species!

Come and get involved in monitoring and recording sightings of Helsinki's mammals! Have fun with nature spotting and urban wildlife.