The Icelandic Institute of Natural History recommends a continued sales ban on ptarmigan, that the hunting season be the first three weeks in November only, and that each hunter shoot no more than nine ptarmigan, as opposed to 15 previously. The reason is a decline of some 12 percent in the ptarmigan stocks in all hunting areas. This is reported by RÚV online.
Ptarmigan is one of Icelanders’ most popular Christmas meals. A sales ban and limited hunting ban was placed on the species in 2003 after a critical decline in the stock. After a period of increase, the stock seems to be declining again, due to hunting as well as natural factors. Last summer was unfavorable for the stock, and the climate this year has been influential also, including heavy snowfall this spring when the nesting season of the ptarmigan was severely disrupted.