What Is the Nestori Foundation? The Nestori Nature Reserve  The Saimaa Ringed Seal Grants for Saimaa Ringed Seal  Protection Etusivu Front page

Contact Information Nestori Foundation  
c/o Arto Vilén, Lammintauksentie 5 82500 Kitee, tel. +358 400 725 478 email: e-mail arto.vilen(at)metsa.fi

Photographs Miina Auttila,
Mari Laukkanen, Miia Tolvanen, Lassi Karivalo, piirros Daga Ulv

What Is the Nestori Foundation?


To protect the endemic Saimaa Ringed Seal in Finland, the Nestori Foundation was established in 2000 by Mr. Arto Frey, M.Sc. (For.).

The first and foremost goal of the Nestori Foundation is to enhance and encourage the work done for the protection of the Saimaa Ringed Seal (Pusa hispida saimensis) by safeguarding and improving the habitats of the seals and by carrying to support out related research. The Foundation may also encourage the protection of the Ladoga Ringed Seal (Pusa hispida ladogensis) and other activities enhancing nature conservation. As recognition for exemplary Saimaa Ringed Seal protection work, the Nestori Foundation may grant certificates of honour for persons of merit.

The Nestori Foundation grants financial support. It may also receives donations and legacies. The Foundation works in cooperation with organisations that are involved in the protection of the Saimaa Ringed Seal. These include e.g. Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife FinlandNatural Heritage Services, WWF Finland and the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation.



The name of the Nestori Foundation is derived from the famous Finnish song that talks about the Saimaa Ringed Seal. The lyrics of the song “Vanhoja poikia viiksekkäitä”,  by composer and singer Juha Vainio called Vanhoja poikia viiksekkäitä, which literally translated refers to bachelors with moustaches, tell about the Saimaa Ringed Seal and a man called Nestori Reponen who lived on an island on Lake Saimaa and was friends with the seal. Nestori played his harmonica and lured a lonely seal to the shore of his island. This song has become the symbol for Saimaa Ringed Seal protection.