The land of Hvanneyri in Andakíll in Borgarfjördur, west Iceland, and the neighboring lands were declared a bird reserve by Minister for the Environment Svandís Svavarsdóttir in a ceremony at Hvanneyri on Wednesday.
From Borgarfjördur. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
The new reserve in Andakíll was also nominated as a Ramsar area. The Ramsar Convention is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands.
Björn Thorsteinsson, professor at the Agricultural University of Iceland in Hvanneyri, told ruv.is that bird hunting will now be banned in the area and that drainage of wetlands will be limited—only ditches that have already been made can be maintained.
Thorsteinsson said it is the nation’s duty to stand by nature and by bird stocks whose future is in jeopardy, such as the white-fronted goose (Lat. Anser albifrons).
There has been a decrease in the number of white-fronted geese, which breeds in west Iceland, among other areas, in recent years for unknown reasons.
In Ireland, Scotland and Greenland bird reserves have been established primarily for the protection of this bird stock and now it’s Iceland’s turn, Thorsteinsson reasoned.