As adorable as they are, Iceland’s Arctic foxes can and do cause problems for the locals.
RÚV reports that the fox population of the Westfjords has seen a veritable explosion in numbers in recent years. Being predators, this means more foxes seeking more prey, which has its effects on local industry.
For example, one of the Westfjords’ larger sources of revenue is the harvesting of eider feathers. Local farmers report that just one fox can do extensive damage to eider nesting areas, killing birds, eating eggs, and tearing up their nests – and that’s without taking into account their hunting of young lambs.
The fox population has actually increased tenfold since 1980, when their numbers were at a historic low. Their numbers were reportedly booming last year, showing a complete recovery from a mysterious massive die-off that plagued them the year before.