Iceland cannot boast of many
species of wild animals compared to many other countries and
continents. The country has been isolated from the beginning and mainly
the realm of the creatures of the sea, insects, and the
Various species of insects were and are carried to the country by
the winds and transport vessels, and have gradually
increased in number.
The species of nesting birds have, however, grown much more
slowly in number.
The only species of airborne mammals spotted every now and
then in the country, without being able to breed here, are
different species of bats, carried here with the winds.
Serpents, snakes, and reptiles do not thrive outdoors, but
have been imported illegally as pets. Fortunately, most of the less desirable species brought to
the country by international transport vehicles do not
thrive in this climate.
Experiments have been made with importing more desirable,
wild animals, such as musk oxen and snow hares, without
relations between the human population and the animals and
attitude towards them still rely very much on the effective
value of the animals.
None of the wild land mammals are totally inviolate, sea mammals,
except the seals, are protected, some bird species are
totally protected, others temporarily each year, and the
rest not at all. Very few, if any, insect species are protected.
Law and regulations concerning the import of domestic
animals, pets and the aforementioned animals are very strict
and to the point.
The reason is the fact, that the already present species of
animals in the country have lived in isolation on this
island for centuries without contact with many diseases and
have therefore not developed immunity against them.
Experimental import of foreign, domesticated animals has
lead to catastrophic distribution of i.e. pneumonia and
The import of wild mammal species does not seem to have affected
the livestocks the same way, but the possibility of that
danger is present.
oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells some
three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth.
Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas. Earth
eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on
earth took care of itself. In the thinking of the human being a hundred
years is a long time. Hundred years ago we didn't have cars, airplanes,
computers or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a
hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and
breathes on a much vaster scale. We can't imagine its slow and powerful
rhythms, and we haven't got the humility to try. We've been residents here
for the blink of an eye. If we're gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us.
Michael Crichton, "Jurassic Park"
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