NAT

Wildlife

Wildlife in Iceland is rich with birdlife and marine mammals. It is a popular country with ornithologists who visit to see dozens of species of bird during the summer nesting season. It is also home to many seabirds, among them puffins, skuas, and kittiwakes who nest on sea cliffs around the country.

When the country was settled in the ninth century, the only native land mammal was the Arctic Fox, which came to the island at the end of the ice age, walking over the frozen sea. However, most of the domestic breeds that the settlers brought with them have remained unchanged in isolation. The Icelandic horse is perhaps the most well-known example of this. Other domestic animals include the Icelandic sheep, cattle, chicken, goat, and the Icelandic sheepdog.

Wild mammals in Iceland include the Arctic Fox, mink, mice, rats, rabbits and reindeer. Polar bears occasionally visit the island, traveling on icebergs from Greenland. Icelandic waters are rich with marine life, including seals, whales, dolphins and over three hundred species of fish.

Source: Iceland.is – Photo Credit: Jonathen Pie

Articles in Wildlife

Wild Mammals in Iceland

Iceland cannot boast of many species of wild animals compared to many other... more

Arctic Fox in Iceland

The arctic fox (Alopex Lagopus) is believed to have occupied Iceland since the... more

Mink in Iceland

In 1931, the mink (Mustela Vison) was imported for fur farming Quite a few... more

Polar Bears in Iceland

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus, formerly Thalarctos maritimus) is also called... more

Rabbits in Iceland

Rabbits imported as pets have become a part of the wild fauna of severaæ parts... more

Reindeer in Iceland

The reindeer (Rangifer Tarandus) is a relatively new addition to the wild... more

Rodents in Iceland

Only four species of rodents occur in Iceland, the wood mouse (Apodemus... more

Birds of the South

The extensive alluvial or outwash plains (sander) of the eastern south coast,... more

Birds of the Southwest

In the capital and its vicinity, there are several good places for observing... more

Birds of the West

About 50 km from Reykjavik and only a short distance from the main road, Lake... more

Birds of the Westfjords

The mountainous and indented northwest peninsula has several places of... more

Birds of the North

In the northern lowlands, between the villages of Hvammstangi and Blonduos,... more

Birds of the East

There is a large bird cliff on the peninsula Langanes in the northeastern... more

Birds of the Interior

Most of the interior plateau is devoid of vegetation, except in a few areas,... more

Common Seal

The common seal or the harbour seal gets 2 m long and weighs up to 150 kg It... more

Grey Seal or Horse Head Seal

In common grey seal areas outside Iceland it seems to be polygamous According... more

Hooded Seal

The hooded seal’s primary habitats are around Greenland and Newfoundland It... more

Harp Seal

The harp seal’s habitats are mostly in the Arctic Ocean on both sides of... more

Bearded Seal

The bearded seal’s habitats are mainly scattered all over the Arctic Ocean It... more

Walrus

In earlier times there was only one breed of walruses It developed in different... more

Ringed Seal

The ringed seal’s primary habitat is the northern Arctic Ocean It also exists... more

Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) (HÁHYRNINGUR)

Adult males are 7-10 m long and weigh 4½-10 tons and females are 5½-8½ m and... more

Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, (HNÚFUBAKUR)

The hump back whale (Lat Megaptera novaeangliae) in Icelandic waters is 12,5-13... more

Minke Whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata (HREFNA – HRAFNREYÐUR)

The minke whale (Lat Balaenoptera acutorostrata) seldom grows longer than 9 m... more

Fin Whale (LANGREYÐUR)

The males are about 18 m long and the females about 19,5 m The males weigh 50... more

Sei Whale Balaenoptera borealis SANDREYÐUR

The sei whale (Lat Balaenoptera borealis) is 12½-15 m long in Icelandic waters... more

Blue Whale Balaenoptera musculus STEYPIREYÐUR

Blue whales (Lat Balaenoptera musculus) in Icelandic waters are 22-25 m long... more

Northern Bottlenose Whale Hyperoodon ampullatus ANDARNEFJA

In Icelandic waters the average size of male adults is 8,4 m and 7½-8½ tons,... more

Long Finned Pilot Whale, Globicephala melas, GRINDHVALUR

Males are 6-8 m long and weigh 4-5 tons, females 4-6 m, and 2-3 tons The... more

Sperm Whale, Physeter catodon, BÚRHVALUR

Fully grow adult males are 17-20 m long and weigh 40-52 tons Females are 8-17 m... more

White Beaked Dolphin, Lagenorbynchus albirostris, BLETTAHNÝÐIR

Adult males are about 3 m long and weigh 250-370 kg Females are 2½-3 m long... more

Harbour Porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, HNÍSA

Adult males weigh about 7 kg and are less than 2 m long Females are equally... more

Common Dolphin, Delphinus delphis, LÉTTIR

Adult males are 1,8-2,6 m long and weigh 80-140 kg Females are 1,7-2,3 m long... more

Beluga Whale, Delphinaptesrus leucas, MJALDUR

Adult males are 4,2 – 5,5 m long and weigh 1-1,6 tons Females are 3-4,1 m... more

Narwhal, Monodon monoceros, NÁHVALUR

Adult males around Iceland are 4-6 m long and weigh 1,2 – 1,6 tons and the... more