From Iceland — Icelandic Sheep Farmers Using GPS And Drones For Yearly Roundup

Icelandic Sheep Farmers Using GPS And Drones For Yearly Roundup

Published November 1, 2022

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
John Pearson

It’s that time of year again: the yearly sheep roundup, where sheep farmers and other locals all over Iceland head out into the wilderness to bring home the sheep they let wander the countryside all summer long.

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While this tradition normally means getting on horseback or going four-wheeling to recover the wooly buddies, RÚV reports that some farmers are using more modern tools to assist them.

In the North Iceland region of Skíðadalur are a number of farms surrounded by tall and steep mountains. While the early part of the roundup goes well enough, heading into these mountains to recover the more daring sheep can be arduous.

Making the job much is easier is the use of GPS technology, which allows farmers such as Eydís Ósk Jónsdóttir to know exactly where the sheep are and make the search much easier. When asked how the sheep feel about being under constant supervision when they would normally be prancing about away from prying eyes, she said, “They haven’t told us that they don’t like it at least.”

Also assisting in the effort are drones that farmers have used to encourage the sheep to return home. Like a lot of animals, sheep are not especially fond of flying, buzzing, hovering machines swooping down on them, and will run in the opposite direction. This has made rounding them up considerably easier for many Icelandic sheep farmers.

Naturally, most farmers will stick to horseback and four-wheelers for their roundups, but 21st century technology has at least helped some of them locate and bring home their sheep much more easily.

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