The Wildlife

Plants and animals are important parts of the wild world heritage. Several climatic zones, ranging from the alpine areas in the high mountains down to the warm valley floors and mountainsides lead to a highly varied fauna and flora. This article deals with the most important biological relationships that characterises this area.

The relatively young rock phyllite creates the ideal growing conditions for plants that need lime to grow, and it also ensures a wide biological variety in the area. Consequently, the area is of great interest to botanists and others interested in plant life. The kind of vegetation which is seen as dominant parts of the scenery in the area includes amongst other things hardwood deciduous forests and primeval forests along the fjord, in addition to hayfields and pastures with some pollard trees.

There are a number of areas in the mountains containing bogs and lakes which are of great importance to the wetland birds. The bogs of the Grånosmyrane nature reserve is protected primarily because of its rich bird life. The Nærøyfjord area is rich in birds of prey with a number of nesting species.

In terms of Nordic game, we find amongst others herds of wild reindeer in the mountains and a stable deer herd in the hillsides and in the valleys. There are few predatory animals in the area, but the number of wolverines has most likely increased in the last decade and lynxes are spotted at regular intervals.

There are many rivers in the area where salmon and sea trout spawn, such as the rivers of Nærøyelvi, Flåmselvi, Lærdalselvi, and Aurlandselvi. Fishing for salmon in the river of Aurlandselvi is no longer allowed due to low fish stocks, and the watercourse in Lærdal has been infected by the notorious salmon parasite Gyrodactilus Salaris and is currently undergoing a course of treatment of aqueous aluminium and sulfuric acid.

There are many areas in the Nærøyfjord that are untouched and characterised as wilderness. These areas are of great value for both research and referencing in regards to plant- and animal life.

some of the special birds you may be lucky enough to spot in the area

  • Golden eagle
  • Common kestrel
  • Rough-legged buzzard
  • Gyrfalcon
  • White-tailed sea eagle
  • Northern goshawk
  • Eurasian sparrowhawk
  • Merlin
  • White-backed woodpecker
  • Rare ducks


  • Nærøyelvi (salmon and trout)
  • Flåmselvi
  • Lærdalselvi has been infected by the notorious salmon parasite Gyrodactilus Salaris and is currently undergoing a course of treatment of aqueous aluminium and sulfuric acid.



  • The hardwood deciduous forests along the Nærøyfjord and the Aurlandsfjord are diverse with a high proportion of linden trees.

  • There is also a well-developed linden forest at Morki which is at the entrance to the Nærøyfjord, where amongst other things you can find the rare hardwood forest related species drooping woodreed.
  • Denser pine forests are found in the valley of Nordheimsdalen. The upper parts of the valley have more of a primeval forest feel to them.
  • There is also an old pine forest found at Legdene above the bay of Lægdaviki.
  • We find unique pine forests both at the gully of Hausagjelet in Revsnes and on the hillside to the east of Instegjelet above the hamlet of Indre Frønningen in the Bleia nature reserve. The same is also found at the landscape conservation area Bleia-Storbotnen, more specifically at Kristenkamben. At Hausagjelet we find an endangered cryptogam flora (spore-reproducing plants) which is generally found in primeval forests that have a high number of aspen trees.

(Photo: Rein Arne Golf).

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