Mammals

Of terrestrial mammals found in the area the Arctic Fox (Vulpes lagopus) is the only native species, having colonised Iceland long before any human colonization. Melrakkaslétta peninsula is named after the arctic fox, as “Melrakki” is one of many Icelandic names given to that species.

Diverse sources of food along the coast make the area a suitable habitat for both the Arctic Fox and the American Mink (Neovision vison). The mink colonized the area around 1960 after having escaped from mink farms in southwest Iceland in the early nineteen thirties. Both these species are hunted to protect eider colonies and other birdlife in the area.

The Wood Mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) and House Mouse (Mus musculus) inhabit the area but those species are thought to have arrived in Iceland with the first human settlers.

Suitable habitat for the Common Seal (Phoca vitulina) is to be found within the numerous open and land-locked bays, and the species pups along the coast. The pups used to be hunted for their skin but those days have more or less passed.

 

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