Icelandic Ravens In Danger Due To Extensive Hunting - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelandic Ravens In Danger Due To Extensive Hunting

Published September 7, 2017

Elías Þórsson
Photos by
USFWS

Around 3,000 ravens are hunted each year, which has lead to a serious decline in their numbers, reports RÚV.

Ravens are hunted because of the damage they can cause to crops and other bird species due to them feeding on eggs. Unlike many other bird species, however, there is no designated hunting season for Ravens and they can, therefore, be hunted freely all year round.

Kristinn Haukur Skarphéðinsson, a bird expert from the Environment Agency of Iceland said that actions need to be taken to preserve the species.

Needs to be protected

In the late ‘80s there were around 13,000 ravens in the country, but since then the numbers have rapidly dwindled.

“The ravens are threatened because their numbers have declined steadily for decades, and if nothing is done then there will be very few left in the future,” said Kristinn. “They are on the vulnerable list and will probably remain so.”

He claimed that the agency will meet with the Björt Ólafsdóttir, the Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources later in the month to reiterate its view that Icelandic ravens should be protected, if they are to survive as a species.

The mythical bird

Throughout history the raven has been considered the holiest and most revered bird in all of the Nordic countries. Óðinn had two, some of the first settlers used them to find shore and sometimes they were even seen as gods.

But who cares about history and cool animals, right?

Go travel with Grapevine tried and recommended tours by Grapevine. Fund Grapevine journalism by booking with us.


Show Me More!