The River Ecosystem
The Six River Project’s conservation programme is primarily aimed at the protection of the North Atlantic salmon. We hope however that as a consequence of the improvement in the rivers’ ecosystems that other fauna will benefit from the enhancement and protection of the local environment.
A walk along the banks of any of our rivers or along the nearby coastline will yield an abundance of life. The illustrations below give you a flavour of some of the birds, mammals and plant life that are particularly indigenous to this part of Iceland.
Iceland is a mecca for ornithologists and you will find many varieties of sea birds, waders, water birds and land birds at the Six Rivers Project.
Much of the northern part of Iceland is marshy or tundra, with the vegetation being predominantly mosses, lichens and sedges. Typical is Iceland moss, a lichen which grows abundantly forming mats on the tundras and mountain slopes and which can provide “famine food” in times of necessity.
Mountain AvensDryas Octopetala CLASSIFICATION
AngelicaAngelica Archangelica CLASSIFICATION
Arctic ThymeThymus Praecox Arcticus CLASSIFICATION
There are not many land mammals found naturally on Iceland, nearly everything has been introduced through the centuries by man. Some exceptions include the arctic fox and polar bear although these are only rarely sighted. Perhaps one of the worst examples of human interference was the introduction of mink farming to Iceland in the 1930s. Mink escaped from the farms, bred successfully in the wild and became a major threat to birdlife on Iceland. Government sponsored hunting has capped numbers: but the mink remains a problem that Iceland’s fragile eco-system could do without.
Arctic FoxVulpes lagopus CLASSIFICATION
Eurasian MinkMustela lutreola CLASSIFICATION
Polar BearUrsus maritimus CLASSIFICATION
We can arrange whale watching trips during your stay where you might encounter humpback and killer whales, as well as seals. Poised on the edge of Skjálfandi Bay in North East Iceland, the fishing town of Húsavík is recognised as one of the best whale watching locations in the world and is certainly the best place to spot whales in Iceland.