First findings of the Chinese sleeper in Finland – spreading invasive alien species is illegal
26.09.2022 06:02 - Maarit Perkonoja (updated: 26.09.2022 06:13)

The first findings of the Chinese sleeper (Perccottus glenii), an invasive alien species, have been made in Finland. The Chinese sleeper was discovered at the end of summer in a pond in Southwest Finland, where it has been released by people. The Chinese sleeper is not hazardous to people, but it threatens our native aquatic species. It is defined as an invasive alien species throughout the EU, and its spread must be prevented.

The Chinese sleeper originates from northeast China, the northern parts of the Korean Peninsula, and the Russian Far East. It thrives in small waterbodies, such as ponds and lakes. People have brought it to new regions in Russia and all the way to Central Europe. As a result, the species has spread rapidly in Europe. Previous findings of the Chinese sleeper close to Finland were made in Estonia and in the eastern parts of the Gulf of Finland in Russia.

Because the Chinese sleeper found its way to the pond as a result of human activities, the exact location of the pond will not be mentioned due to the risk of spreading. The Chinese sleeper is defined as an invasive alien species throughout the EU. It is illegal to import the Chinese sleeper to Finland, have it in possession, and release it into the environment (act on invasive alien species 1709/2015, Criminal Code of Finland 1889/39).

Read more in the press release of Natural Resources Institute Finland

Photo Sanna Kuningas, Luke