Locals Fight Closure of Dyrhólaey Bird Reserve Skip to content

Locals Fight Closure of Dyrhólaey Bird Reserve

Some inhabitants of the district Mýrdalshreppur in south Iceland are dissatisfied with the Environment Agency of Iceland’s decision to close part of the bird reserve on Dyrhólaey promontory during nesting season, as has been done in the past years, as it interferes with the tourist season.


Dyrhólaey. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.

Before last weekend the gate barring traffic from Lágey, the eastern part of the promontory, was torn down twice in protest and so the police in Hvolsvöllur were asked to patrol the area, ruv.is reports.

“The gate was torn down on Thursday and again on [Friday] night. The ranger put it back in place on [Saturday] morning,” said Ólafur Arnar Jónsson, manager of the Environment Agency’s nature protection division. A meeting was held to reach reconciliation on Thursday but apparently, it was fruitless.

The protestors feel the Environment Agency’s measures are unnecessary and fear loss of revenue when tourists cannot visit the region’s major tourist attraction. In the past years, parts of the promontory have usually been closed until late June.

This summer ISK 5 million (USD 43,000, EUR 30,000) will be spent on improving security measures on the viewing platform at Háey, the western part of the promontory, repairing walking paths and other items in connection with tourism on Dyrhólaey.

Meanwhile, Minister for the Environment Svandís Svavarsdóttir will declare two important areas and tourist attractions in northeast Iceland nature reserves at a celebratory ceremony today, the Dimmuborgir lava fields and tuff ring volcano Hverfjall (Hverfell), as stated on the Environment Agency’s website.

Click here to read about other measures taken to protect Iceland’s nature and improve the conditions for tourists.

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