Rare Coastal Pine Forest

The unique vegetation of the area, including its many standing and dead ‘Silver Pines’, was one reason that the region gained its protective status. The vegetation is influenced by the highly variable coastal climate. This, combined with the underlying geology of granite that gives unproductive soil, result in few plant species in the Park. The old growth Pine forest as found in the Park is uncommon for Northern Norway. Also found in the Park are areas of largely undisturbed Birch woodland with examples of large mature trees. You can encounter such trees especially in the narrow, long Trolldalen, a spectacular valley to explore in its own right.

Wood cranesbill. Photo: Jan Inge Karlsen

Mountain avens. Photo: Trond Monkvik

Photo 1. Wood cranesbill. Photo: Jan Inge Karlsen. Photo 2. Mountain avens. Photo: Trond Monkvik.

Small tortoiseshell butterfly. Photo: Jan Inge Karlsen

Cross-leaved Heath. Photo: Trond Monkvik

Photo 1. Small tortoiseshell butterfly. Photo: Jan Inge Karlsen. Photo 2. Cross-leaved Heath. Foto: Trond Monkvik.

Common species in the Parks’ fenland habitat are English Sundew, Common Sundew, Bottle Sedge, Bogbean, Common Butterwort, Hare’s-tail Cottongrass, Common Cottongrass, Purple Moor grass and Cloudberry. Along the rivers the understory can vary from a thick carpet of Lapland Cornel (Bunchberry), to areas where perennials and ferns dominate. Typical plants are Wood Cranesbill, Millett Grass and several Willow species. In the Birch woodland Blueberry dominates along with species such as Oak Fern, Bog Rosemary, Chickweed Wintergreen and European Goldenrod. In the uplands and alpine expect to find Parsley Fern, Highland Rush, Pincushion Plant, Starry Saxifrage, (Hairy Kidney-wort) and Red Alpine Catchfly.


Because Ånderdalen is on an island there are few species of mammal in the Park.
The only large mammals to be found are European moose and domesticated reindeer Red Fox is common in the park, yet the most common predator is likely the European Stoat. Common along the lower reaches of river systems are European Mink and European Otter. Mountain Hares are encountered in all habitat throughout the Park. Short-tailed Vole and Water Vole are the most numerous small rodents, and in Ånderdalen there is also a population of Tundra Vole and Grey Red-backed Vole. Norwegian Lemming can in certain years reach high densities. We also find both Common and Pygmy shrew in the Park. The only amphibian found in the Park is the Common Frog.

The moose is the National Park’s largest mammal. Photo: Jan Inge Karlsen

Fjellgresshoppe. Photo: Jan Inge Karlsen

Photo 1. The moose is the National Park’s largest mammal. Photo: Jan Inge Karlsen. Photo 2. Fjellgresshoppe. Photo: Jan Inge Karlsen.

Red fox inhabitant in Ånderdalen. Photo: Jan Inge Karlsen

The European stoat is an avid hunter and good at camouflaging himself. Photo: Andre Bonotto.

Photo 1. Rødrev valp som kikker frem fra vegetasjonen. Photo: Jan Inge Karlsen.
Photo 2. The European stoat is an avid hunter and good at camouflaging himself. Photo: Andre Bonotto.

In the rivers, streams and lakes are Brown trout and Arctic Char, whilst Three-spined stickleback are found in certain locations. The Park’s tributaries offer good sportfishing opportunities and in Ånderelva (river) towards the coast you can catch Atlantic salmon, Sea trout and Arctic char.

Bird life

The predominance of wetland areas and surrounding old growth forest influences the Park’s bird life. However, the Park’s variation in landscape types means you can also observe many of Northern Norway’s more common bird species. For example, you can spot many species of diurnal birds of prey: White-Tailed Eagle, Golden Eagle, Rough-legged Buzzard, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Goshawk. The most common owl of the area is the Hawk Owl, yet Pygmy Owl and Tengmalm’s Owl can also be found within the Park. Raven and Hooded Crow are present over the whole Park. In woodland habitat the most numerous passerines are thrush of several species, tits, Brambling and Tree Pipits. Bohemian Waxwing, Parrot Crossbill and Three-toed Woodpecker are species characteristic of the coastal Pine forest.

Whooper swans in the National Park. Photo: Jan Inge Karlsen

The Grey heron is a patient fisher. Photo: Rikki Martin Langnes

A pair of Mallard ducks displaying in the springtime. Photo: Trond Monkvik

The largest bird of prey in the National Park is the White-tailed eagle. Photo: Andre Bonotto

Photo: 1: Telt ved Nordmannsjøkelen. Photo: : Randulf Valle Photo 2: Eng av sibirgressløk. Photo: Ingunn Ims Vistnes. Photo 3: Fiskelykke! Photo: : Marit Helene Eira

Bjørkfink. Photo: Jan Inge Karlsen

Brushane. Photo: Jan Inge Karlsen

Fjellrype. Photo: Jan Inge Karlsen

Grønnfink. Photo: Jan Inge Karlsen

Photo 1: Bjørkfink Photo 2: Brushane Photo 3: Fjellrype. Photo 4: Grønnfink. All 4 photographs by Jan Inge Karlsen

In upland tracts of the Park you find the Meadow Pipit, (Northern) Wheatear and the Bluethroat. Willow Warblers are everywhere and in the oldest Pine forest stands look for the (Common) Redstart. Although it’s mostly the Three-toed Woodpecker you’ll encounter, you may also see Lesser spotted and Grey-headed Woodpeckers. Among aquatic birds, you’ll see ducks such as Mallard, Wigeon, Teal, also the Red-breasted Merganser. On the numerous lakes breed both Red-throated and Black-throated Diver. In terms of waders, Whimbrel, Snipe, Redshank and Woodcock are common. Common Sandpiper and Dipper are found along waterways, with Reed Bunting in reedbeds mostly on wet ground. Ringed Plover and Golden Plover are very typical for upland heaths. It is also possible to spot the commonest gull species, terns and Arctic Skua inland within the Park, also Black Grouse in the forest-cloaked glades. Willow Grouse have a wide distribution from lowland to upland areas, whilst (Rock) Ptarmigan may be found in large numbers in stony alpine areas up amongst the snowfields.