The falcon population in Iceland is likely to be at its lowest in two to four years, says the Institute of Natural History in an article by Fréttablaðið.
It is estimated that there are currently three to four hundred pairs of falcons in Iceland, and the bird is said to be “in some danger” according to the Natural History’s list. The falcon’s main food source is the ptarmigan, whose population is also at an all-time low. Patterns in rising and falling numbers of these two species can be clearly seen, says ornithologist Ólafur Karl Nielsen. “Both species show similar fluctuations, so the falcon is always two to four years behind the ptarmigan. Peak falcon populations follow the peak ptarmigan populations and lowest populations follow lowest populations.”
However, Ólafur Karl says that there is no need to be very worried. These stock fluctuations are a natural phenomenon and do not cause concern as such.
The estimated number of ptarmigans in the country this autumn is one of the lowest in recent decades. That said, they are not showing signs of a consistent decline, meaning that while the matter deserves monitoring, there is as yet no cause for alarm.
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