Are There Animals Other Than Birds In the Borgarvogur Inlet?

Female eiderducks

The proposed conservation area in the Borgarvogur inlet mostly consists of mudflats, which are submerged in seawater when the tide comes in. The yellow algae, marine worms, polychaetes, and insects on the surface provide a veritable feast for the birds in the area.  More than twenty different types of birds have been spotted there, including eider ducks and white-tailed eagles. The reason the Environment Agency gives for proposing the nature reserve is that the area is Iceland’s most extensive yellow-algae mudflats, the diverse birdlife and to preserve the greenhouse-gas-binding mudflats.

As the proposed conservation area is mostly mudflats, rocks and small islands, and lies right next to the town of Borgarnes (pop. 2,115), there aren’t many mammals in the area. In fact, Iceland doesn’t have many species of mammals at all. There might be the occasional fox, mink, rat, or mouse passing through. Seal sightings are very rare, and the water is mostly too shallow for even the smallest whales. There are no reindeer in west Iceland. The land on the other side of the inlet is mostly wetlands and farmland, so you might see some sheep and Icelandic horses.

icelandic sheep

Borgarvogur Inlet To Become Nature Reserve

Borgarvogur inlet by Borgarnes in West Iceland

The Environment Agency of Iceland, along with landowners and the Borgarbyggð municipality has introduced plans to make Borgarvogur, a narrow inlet by Borgarnes in West Iceland, a nature reserve.

Borgarvogur is one of West Iceland’s most important birdlife areas. The inlet and the surrounding wetlands and mudflats are essential for the surrounding area due to its plant and animal life. Over 20 bird species are found in the surrounding wetlands, mudflats, and bayland.

Borgarvogur inlet by Borgarnes in West Iceland
Guðrún Jónsdóttir

Borgarvogur consists of a wide expanse of mudflats, categorized as yellow algae mudflats, and is the largest known such area in Iceland. Yellow algae mudflats contain high densities of algae and other small living organisms but mudflats are also helpful in containing greenhouse gasses. The area’s research and educational value is high and the area is ideal for birdwatching.

By conserving the area, the Environmental Agency is looking to permanently protect the natural state of Borgarvogur and the biological diversity of the area so that it can develop naturally of its own accord. Also to ensure research and monitoring of the areas biosphere and so that the public can use the area to study nature. The suggested conservation area limits are shown on the map below.

Proposed Borgarvogur Nature Reserve Limits
Environmental Agency of Iceland.

The Environmental Agency’s notification is the first step in the conservation process and after the introductory period, representatives from the Environmental Agency, landowners, municipality and Ministry for the Environment and natural resources will draft conservation terms and present to parties of interest. the conservation will then be advertised and the public will be able to comment on the proposal.