Flatey Island sees nature reserve double in size

A document has recently been signed by Iceland’s Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson that ensures the nature reserve within Breiðafjörður fjord on Flatey Island will be doubling in size.

The expansion of the reserve is to help protect the island’s unique and diverse ecosystem, especially its birdlife. The area is home to rare bird species such as the arctic tern, red phalarope, and puffin, which use the land as nesting areas.

The nature reserve on the island in the West of Iceland will now reach 1.62 square kilometres, and extends to islets and skerries south of the island and across the seabed between them.

Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson comments, “Here is a remarkable story of habitation where the interaction of man and nature was and is in balance. […] It is, therefore, important for future generations, ourselves and our guests, to ensure the protection of a pearl such as Flatey.”

The nature reserve is also crucial to researching and monitoring the island’s ecosystem. Flatey is known for its plant species, including eelgrass (Zostera marina) that is unique to the location.