The Icelandic Institute of Natural History recommends that no more than 26,000 ptarmigan be caught this year, which equates to about six birds per hunter, reports Vísir.
Last spring’s counts showed an increase in the number of ptarmigan in almost all counting areas, but in the long term, the population has declined, according to an announcement on the organisation’s website. The stock is above average for the last 20 years but below average compared to the last 60 years.
Measurements reveal a lack of ptarmigan landings in the Northeast and poor landings in the West. Declines in the Northeast have become so great that it is uncertain whether the boom in population size from 2021 to 2022 will continue. The total population of ptarmigan is estimated at 297,000.
“The size of the ptarmigan hunting population in autumn 2022 is on par with the four worst years since the beginning of measurements in 1995. The ptarmigan is a key species in the food web and, among other things, a prerequisite for the existence of falcons. It is on Válista as a species in imminent danger. In light of all this, the Natural History Institute places great emphasis on ensuring that there will be no relaxation in their efforts to reduce the total waste of the bird as much as possible, and that the catch will not exceed 9% of the hunting stock,” says the announcement.
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