Heimo Mikkola

University of Eastern Finland

Heimo Mikkola, born in Finland in 1945, has been a bird-watcher since the age of eleven, but has concentrated on owls since 1965. His thesis for his MSc was on the great grey owl, and his Ph.D. thesis was on the ecological relationships of European owls. In 1988, Dr. Mikkola became an adjunct professor at the University of Eastern Finland. His life-long international career with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations started in 1974 in Colombia and ended with him as the resident representative of FAO in Uruguay in 2007. In 2014, he was nominated as “Champion of Owls” in Houston, USA, mainly because of his worldwide distributed and translated owl books. Thus far, he has written some 300 papers and more than 10 books on birds. Since retirement, he has edited eight books with IntechOpen.

8books edited

9chapters authored

Latest work with IntechOpen by Heimo Mikkola

For many humans, birds are the most fascinating group of animals and they are definitely among the best-known and studied organisms. Thanks to global citizen science data, we know that there are some 50 billion individual birds in the world at present, which is about six birds for every human on the planet. Birds have an important role as indicators of the state of the environment, giving them high public value. Human-related global impacts such as climate changes and accelerating urbanization force extant species to continuous adaptations, population modifications, or even outright extinction. This book includes nine chapters covering such topics as bird genetics, the colour of avian plumage, conservation problems, sustainable hunting, habitat disturbance, range expansion and introductions, and long-term bird population changes and challenges. A key chapter explains the genetic rules and reasons why we have continuously more bird species in the world and why we may end up having 7,000 species more than the present 11,000 species.

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