An expert at the Icelandic Institute of Natural History apparently went rogue when he said rabbits have become a part of Icelandic nature, as this is not the official position of the institute itself.
As reported, rabbits once bought as pets have been released into the wild over the years. A spate of relatively warm winters, and locals leaving food out for the released rabbits, have contributed to a population boom of the creatures. Rabbits now number in the hundreds or possibly thousands.
Ævar Petersen, an expert at The Icelandic Institute of Natural History, told Vísir that these rabbits have more or less become a part of Iceland’s natural. However, this is an opinion apparently not shared by the institute itself.
In a news item posted on their website, the institute clarifies that Ævar was just expressing a personal opinion. Rather, the “temporary situation” of them thriving does not make them a part of Iceland’s natural world at all. In fact, they say, rabbits are an invasive species.