Monday, October 22, 2012

Fauna in Iceland

The Fauna of Iceland is determined mostly by the climate, physiography and vegetation of the place. The availability of food due to the presence of the water bodies nearby makes Iceland the home of over 300 species of birds.

Thank you Maria for these two FDCs which depict part of the Fauna of Iceland. The stamps on the FDC above depict the river salmon, and the stamps on the FDC below show the tufted duck in the foreground. This set of stamps and the FDCs were issued on 25.11.1959.

The salmon season in Iceland lasts for three months over  the period June – September, varying slightly according to region. Around twenty Icelandic salmon rivers are in the first-class bracket, ranking with the finest in the world.   Free from industrial pollution, Iceland’s rivers, lakes and senaerie prime habitat for wild fish, and internationally acclaimed stock management  programs give the chance of outstanding catches. Iceland is a unique combination of a modern society with vast areas of unspoilt and sparsely populated countryside. Anglers therefore have a wide choice of places to fish, but with top-rate comforts and facilities at close hand as well. Geologically speaking, Iceland is one of the youngest countries in the world, the product of volcanic activity which began on the seabed 25 million years and is still going on today. The landscape is mountainous with valleys, plains and fjords, and abounds in glacial and freshwater rivers and lakes. More than one-tenth of the surface is covered with glaciers, including the largest ice cap in Europe, the 8,000 km3 Vatnajokull. Summer on the rim of the Arctic Circle is a season of unrivaled beauty. Wildlife and flora spring to life in the mild northerly summer weather, and twenty-four-hour daylight in scenery of mountains, glaciers and lava fields creates a spell-binding sense of timelessness. There are almost 100 salmon rivers in Iceland, most of them permitting 6-14 rods daily during the three-month summer angling season. On average around 30.000 salmons are caught by anglers in Iceland each year. In addition, trout, Arctic char and brown trout can be caught at numerous rivers and lakes all around the country.

The Tufted Duck is a medium-sized diving duck with a population of close to one million birds. The adult male is all black except for white flanks and a blue-grey bill. It has an obvious head tuft that gives the species its name. The adult female is brown with paler flanks, and is more easily confused with other diving ducks. In particular, some have white around the bill base which resembles the scaup species, although the white is never as extensive as in those ducks.

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