From Iceland — Midge Population Decreases At Lake Mývatn, Bird Life Affected

Midge Population Decreases At Lake Mývatn, Bird Life Affected

Published July 19, 2022

Photo by
Art Bicnick

The midge population at Mývatn has decreased from 100,000 to about a thousand, RÚV reports.

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While the lack of midges is good news for tourists visiting the lake, biologists find the situation alarming.

According to Árni Einarsson, director of the Nature Research Center at Lake Mývatn, the decrease in population of midges can have serious consequences for the bird life, as midges are an important food source.

“No ducklings can get to the lake,” he told reporters. “There are 20,000 pairs of ducks, but very few are raising young. In many cases they have left their nests or have not laid eggs at all. The ducklings that hatch survive for just a few days.”

Árni says that similar fluctuations happen every seven to nine years, with the last one being observed about eight years ago.

“The food on the bottom of the lake becomes scarce,” Árni explains. “Then the midge population collapses, then the fish come and devour the rest of them, and then there are no midges left.” As a result, the bird population will decrease for the upcoming few years.

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