Although Estonia is small, about the size of Denmark or Holland, the country has a fraction of their populations – about 1.3 million. About 50% of the land is forested, and bogs cover another chunk; that doesn’t leave much room for people, but it does mean more space for wildlife!
Beginning early in the 20th century, when one lone nature lover began to protect birds and improve their breeding conditions on small islands off the western coast, Estonia has continually expanded its parks, nature reserves, and protection for individual trees, marshes, meadow communities, forests, lakes and unique landscapes. In fact, it’s one of the few European countries which has officially and progressively recognized the strong bonds between species and their habitats, acting to make them more resistant to disturbances and negative influences that threaten their survival.
This northern-most Baltic State lies directly across the Finnish Gulf from Finland, to the north, is bordered by Russia on the east (the border cuts through Lake Peipsi, Estonia’s largest water body), and Latvia to the south. The majority of the population is centered around the capital, Tallinn, and three other cities: Tartu, Narva and Pärnu.
Estonians are surrounded by nature, and their long, close connection with the land has prompted them to value and preserve its many forms, diverse features and inhabitants.