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Why is it important to encourage biodiversity and richness of species in green spaces of central Tallinn?

Why is it important to encourage biodiversity and richness of species in green spaces of central Tallinn?

Richer in species and more ecological urban environment

More diversified and lusher landscaping in the green areas of the city center enables the urban environment to become richer in species and environmentally friendlier. Limited mowing allows the public to enjoy the quiet and peace of the parks, and nature’s smells and sounds. Promoting biodiversity in parks is based on the principle less is more, i. e. less lawn-mowing will bring new species of plants, animals and birds into parks.

Improved human health and living environment

To preserve urban nature, it is important to ensure that animals, birds and insects can move from one green space to another, safely and undisturbed. Biodiversity is one of the most important issues that cities around the globe are facing and must address. There is an increasing number of scientific studies proving that there is direct link between human health and biodiversity – the more diverse and healthier is the natural environment around us, the better is our immune system and mental health.

Richer and more varied flora

In draught, a park with low-cut grass looks like a desert. In drier periods, longer grass will provide more moisture and nutrients to the soil. This results in rich and varied flora. Plants in turn help to improve the quality of air, clean soil and water.

More birdsong

One positive impact of more diversified urban greenery is that the number of bird species singing in the green spaces of the city center is increasing. Varied greenery also provides birds with a better living environment and more food.

Growth of urban beekeeping

The biodiversity of green areas encourages urban beekeeping. As an experiment, city bees have for years been pollinating the flowers of the central parks, boulevards and gardens and producing honey. Productivity has been increasing year by year. There are more and more flowers waiting to be pollinated and the honey is of good quality. Therefore, bees and other pollinators are of key importance in preserving biodiversity.

Tallinn’s diversity in species and urban environment

Tallinn is home to diverse biota and varied landscapes that are habitat for many rare species. There are 46 species of protected plants growing in Tallinn. There are many species in Estonia for whom urban areas are unsuitable habitat, but there are also species that are adapted to human proximity and urban environment if other conditions are favourable.

Urban flora plays an important role in biodiversity – it provides food, shelter and breeding ground for insects, snails and birds. Tallinn is the nesting place for numerous species of birds that are under protection in Europe and in Estonia. Among bird species under national protection, 45 have nested in Tallinn and 97 have been encountered during the migratory period.

There are 39 protected species of plants growing in Tallinn, including many rarities such as alpine mouse-ear (Cerastium alpinum), ascending saxifrage (Saxifraga adscendens), fringed pink (Dianthus superbus) and alpine bluegrass (Poa alpina), for whom the capital of Estonia is the only or one of the few habitats.

Tallinn is probably one of the richest capitals in Europe in orchids. 17 species of natural orchids (49% of Estonian orchid species) have been found growing here, all of which are under protection.



Which plants, pollinators, birds and mammals can be found in the green areas of central Tallinn?



  • Fireweed (Chamaenerion)
  • White nettle (Lamium album
  • St John's wort (Hypericum)
ahtalehine põdrakanep (Chamaenerion angustifolium)
Chamaenerion angustifolium
Photo: Kadri Järv
ahtalehine põdrakanep (Chamaenerion angustifolium)
White nettle 
Lamium album
Photo: Kadri Järv
ahtalehine põdrakanep (Chamaenerion angustifolium)
Spotten St John's wort
Hypericum maculatum
Photo: Kadri Järv



  • European honey bee (Apis mellifera)
  • Green-eyed flower bee (Anthophora bimaculata)
  • Ladybird (Coccinellidae
meemesilane (Apis mellifera)
European honey bee
Apis mellifera
Photo: Erik Karits
erakmesilane (Anthophora bimaculata)
Green-eyed flower bee
Anthophora bimaculata
Photo: Paul Bowyer
seitsetäpp-lepatriinu (Coccinella septempunctata)
Seven-spot ladybird
Coccinella septempunctata
Photo: Kris-Mikael Krister


  • Common starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 
  • Great tit (Parus major) 
  • Eurasian blue tit (Parus caeruleus)
kuldnokk (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common starling 
Sturnus vulgaris
Photo: Vladislav Glukhotko
rasvatihane (Parus major)
Great tit 
Parus major
Photo: Wim van 't Einde


sinitihane (Parus caeruleus)
Eurasian blue tit
Parus caeruleus
Photo: Erik Karits



  • European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)
  • Brown hare (Lepus europaeus)
  • Nathusius’ pipsitrelle (Pipistrellus nathusii)
harilik siil Erinaceus europaeus Foto: Jasmin Staab
European hedgehog
Erinaceus europaeus
Photo: Jasmin Staab
halljänes Lepus europaeus Foto: Joe
Brown hare
Lepus europaeus
Photo: Joe
pargi-nahkhiir (Pipistrellus nathusii)
Nathusius’ pipsitrelle
Pipistrellus nathusii
Photo: Mnolf


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Last modified 16.07.2024