From Iceland — Flatey Nature Reserve Doubles In Size

Flatey Nature Reserve Doubles In Size

Published August 13, 2021

Desirai Thompson
Photo by
Vísir/The Cabinet

Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources of Iceland, has signed for the expansion of the nature reserve in Flatey, which will double its size.

Flatey is a small island, one of thousands, that dots Breiðafjörður south of the Westfjords and north of Snæfellsnes peninsula. This move will increase its size to 1.62 square kilometres, as Vísir reports.

The purpose of the expansion is to preserve the biodiversity of the island which is home to many bird species including the red phalarope, grouse and puffin. Flatey is also home to diverse plant life as eelgrass, uncommon in Icelandic waters, is found here.

Breiðafjörður itself is an area protected by law, and this extension of Flatey will extend beyond the island, skerries and islets to the seabed and aquatic ecosystem as well.

The island is already well known to scientists and bird enthusiasts. As stated in the government announcement, one purpose of this expansion is to allow for important research, education and preservation. The ecosystem will be monitored with a focus on the habitat and breeding habits of native birds.

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources press release points out that there is a long-standing and strong connection between humans and nature at Flatey. It is also a popular tourist stop for bird and nature enthusiasts.

“Flatey is the undisputed pearl of Breiðafjörður,” said Guðmundur in the press release.

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.

You can also check out our shop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door.

Also you can get regular news from Iceland—including the latest notifications on eruptions, as soon as they happen—by signing up to our newsletter.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!