Icelandic wildlife and climate change

This video from the USA is

Footage of Common and Arctic Terns by Project Puffin, off the coast of Maine.

From CBC in Canada:

Warming climate changing Iceland wildlife, land: researchers

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 16, 2008 | 5:59 PM ET

Environmental scientists in Iceland say the changing climate is having a big impact on that country’s wildlife and is eroding land on the Arctic island.

Iceland has seen record-breaking warm temperatures in recent years, which has affected some bird and fish species, said Gudrun Palmadottir, an environmental researcher working in west Iceland.

“We have seen it in many species of birds and fish and algae and plants. There are new species, and the species that are here are struggling, like the puffin and the Arctic tern,” she told CBC News.

“There is something missing from their food chain,” she added. “It’s being studied, but [there] was a dramatic death in chicks this year and past years also with the puffin, and it’s thought to be because the sea is warming.”

Palmadottir said some cold-water fish species have moved out of their traditional fishing grounds. That’s a big concern to the country’s fishery, she added.

As well, Icelanders are dealing with severe erosion caused by centuries of grazing and forest clear-cutting.

“About 40 per cent of Iceland is suffering from severe erosion … that means about 40,000 square kilometres,” said Magnus Johannsson of Iceland’s Soil Conservation Service.

Johannsson said that on top of the clear-cutting and grazing, warm and dry summers in the past couple of years have led to dry, loose volcanic soil blowing over vegetated areas.

WITH a hibernation period of up to 100 million years, bacteria discovered on the Arctic sea floor may have longest life cycle of any known organism: here.

5 thoughts on “Icelandic wildlife and climate change

  1. Is the climate crisis caused by overpopulation?

    By Simon Butler

    November 12, 2008 — Many environmentalists believe that environmental
    destruction is a product of “overpopulation”, and that the world is
    already “full up”. So are population reduction strategies essential to
    solving the climate crisis? At best, population control schemes focus on
    treating a symptom of an irrational, polluting social and economic
    system rather than the causes. In China, for instance, such measures
    haven’t solved that country’s environmental problems. At worst,
    populationist theories shift the blame for climate change onto the
    poorest and most vulnerable people in the Third World.

    They do not address the reasons why environmental damage, or even
    instances of overpopulation, happen in the first place and they divert
    attention away from the main challenge facing the climate movement —
    the urgent need to construct a new economy based on environmentally
    sustainable technologies and the rising of living standards globally.
    For at least 200 years, “overpopulation” has been used to explain a host
    of social problems such as poverty, famine, unemployment and — more
    recently — environmental destruction.

    * Read more


  2. A new bird trail in North Iceland

    Gyrfalcon & ptarmigan, Brunnich’s guillemots & puffins, the haunting cry of the great northern diver, busy waders in summer plumage, diving gannets & the worlds most varied duck breeding grounds.

    NORFOLK, UK, June 05, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ — These are the experiences bird watchers can expect on a new bird trail in North Iceland!

    More species of ducks breed at Lake Myvatn in North Iceland than anywhere else in the world and the lake has long been a popular travel destination among bird watchers. Fewer know however that there are a great number of other places in North Iceland to watch the artic bird fauna of Iceland. A new arctic bird trail, focusing on the coast of North Iceland, is now being developed by the regional development agency in the area, in collaboration with tourism service providers. The project is part of a national effort among service providers and governmental agencies to introduce international tourists to possibilities of bird watching in Iceland and to attract more bird watchers to Iceland.

    Raudinupur (Red Cliff) is an ancient volcano protruding 73 m out of the surrounding plain of Melrakkasletta peninsula. It has served as an important landmark for sea-farers through the centuries. The cliff and the surrounding area is rich with bird life and those who ascend it are offered great panoramic views. Raudinupur is among destinations on the new bird trail. The artic tern aggressively greets every guest heading to Raudinupur. The ptarmigan quietly sneaks between the tussocks with its many chicks and tries not to draw the attention of the gyrfalcon which frequently watched the bird life from the edge of the crater. An old Icelandic legend has it that the gyrfalcon and ptarmigan are siblings, but a spell was cast on the falcon not to recognize the ptarmigan as his sister, until he eats her heart, and then he cries.

    At Raudinupur, bird watchers will also see all the auks of Iceland: Brünnich’s guillemot, guillemot, razorbilled auk, black guillemot, puffin and on occasion one will spot the highly artic species of little auk, though it does not breed in Iceland. Other common birds in the cliff are fulmar and kittiwake. Two pillars rise from the sea, close to the cliff. Those are breeding grounds of gannet, queen of the sea.

    In development of the North Iceland bird trail, emphasis has been put on improving access to bird watching places and to publish information material, on signs and in booklets. Tourists in the area can choose from diverse accommodation and other services. As an example, the town of Husavik is a center of whale watching tours, in which there is a good chance to spot a blue whale.

    Due to the current favourable exchange rate of the Icelandic currency, travelling to Iceland has never been more economical. Iceland is closer than many think and flight time from London is as short as 3 hours. There are direct daily flights to Iceland from Europe, UK, US and Canada with Icelandair and Iceland Express. Frequent scheduled flights and buses run daily between the capital of Reykjavik and Northern Iceland.

    Gavia Travel ( is a ground tour operator in Iceland specializing in Nature and Wildlife. All tours are designed and guided by a team of experts.

    For further information, please contact:
    Hrafn Svavarsson, Managing Director
    Tel: +354 511 3939

    Gavia Travel
    Alfaheidi 44
    IS-200 Kopavogur

    Hrafn Svavarsson, Managing Director
    Tel: +354 511 3939

    About Heritage Destination Consulting

    Heritage Destination Consulting (HDC) is a leading international heritage interpretation and tourism destination development consultancy


  3. Pingback: Vikings, shearwaters and Caribbean conservation | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Seabirds of Iceland | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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