Vast Decrease in Cliff-Dwelling Birds in Iceland Skip to content

Vast Decrease in Cliff-Dwelling Birds in Iceland

The stocks of common cliff-dwelling bird species in Iceland decreased in size by 20 to 40 percent over the last two decades. The number of Brünnich’s guillemot has decreased the most; its stock size is only 56 percent of what it was two decades ago.

Gannets in a cliff on Langanes peninsula. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The size of the fulmar stock is currently 69 percent of what it was 20 years back. To put that in perspective, fulmar couples have decreased from 1.3 million to 900,000. The guillemot stock is currently 70 percent of its previous size, Morgunbladid reports.

However, the numbers of gannets and great cormorants have increased in this period. This conclusion is based on bird counts on sea cliffs from 2005 to 2008, compared with numbers from a count between 1983 and 1986.

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