Gyrfalcon monitoring

Up to a quarter of Europe’s gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) population breeds in Iceland. Iceland’s gyrfalcon population is believed to number only around 400 breeding pairs in a good year. This population is small and vulnerable, and the gyrfalcon is therefore protected under Icelandic law.

The gyrfalcon monitoring project has a dual focus:

  1. To monitor changes to the gyrfalcon population in order to track its development.
  2. To study the behavioural and population response of gyrfalcons to 10-year population fluctuations for rock ptarmigan and determine what part gyrfalcons play in these 10-year cycles.

IINH Contact: Ólafur K. Nielsen