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Exploring the Animals & Nature of Iceland

The virgin and harsh beauty of Icelandic nature is really fascinating. It is true, here there is something to see: powerful waterfalls, active volcanoes, geysers (springs, periodically throwing out hot thermal water and steam, one of the manifestations of vulcanism), giant glaciers. Well, the natural beauty of the island is supplemented with the existence of various animals and birds.

Let’s have a closer look at the various fauna of Iceland. One can see arctic foxes, reindeer, mink and mouse live in their natural habitats. And, of course sheep! Sheep in Iceland are two times mor numerous than the local inhabitants. There are indigenous breed of sheep famous for their very long hair and a good character. Hardy sheep graze freely in mountain pastures during the summer. Cattle are rather small, but with a wide range of colors.

Among the wild animals in Iceland there are also found the Arctic fox, who lived here before settling people, while many other mammals came with people.

Icelandic sheep dogs (shepherds) are the only natural breed of dogs in Iceland, and one of the oldest breeds in the world. The ancestors of these dogs were brought to Iceland by the Vikings, who first arrived in 874 AD. Soon these animals spread throughout the country and began to develop separately from other breeds of dogs on this isolated island. Icelandic sheep-dog is a rare breed, around the world, there are only about 3,300 dogs.

One more very important animal in Iceland is the horse. Icelandic horses do a lot of work, especially in small farms. They transport hay, building materials, fertilizers. Most of the horses are short, very hardy ponies. They are a favorite topic of Icelandic painting. Such is the small world of land animals in Iceland.

Nevertheless, this shortcoming is more than compensated by the number of other animals – birds make up most of the fauna of Iceland.

Here you can see about 80 species of birds – Aider duck, swan, falcon, ptarmigan, tern, and imposing gannet, etc. However, few can compare with the puffin in terms of numbers: 5 - 6 million birds of this kind, that are larger than any other Icelandic species. Plover is another of the most common bird species.

Iceland is a paradise for lovers of birdwatching. Basically, a lot of travelers come here every year in order to watch deadlocks. There are three main places to observe them: on the western fjords are the Latrabjarg rocks, in the east it is the cape near the town of Borgarfjordur, in the south – the Dirholaey reserve. You will also have an opportunity to watch these amazing birds if you come at one of these places.

It would be not fair if we miss the marine world. In the lakes there is trout, and in the rivers – salmon. In coastal waters, there are two kinds of seals and several species of whales. There are places for spawning cod, sea bass, haddock, halibut and shrimp. On the coast, you can suddenly meet a gray fur seal.

For travelling around the Iceland, you cannot do without transport – use car rental in Reykjavik. If you are going to explore the depths of nature and watch the animals and birds, the best option is an SUV. At Reykjavik airport, you can choose Toyota Landcruiser, Hyundai Santa Fe, Hyundai Tuscon, Suzuki Jimny, Kia Sportage, Toyota Rav4 and many others.

Have a good trip! Open a nature of Iceland for yourself!

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