The only native mammal in all of Iceland is the beautiful Arctic fox. Now under threat. PIC Jean van der Slujis

The only native mammal in all of Iceland is the beautiful Arctic fox. Now under threat. PIC Jean van der Slujis

T he more, the merrier goes the saying. Except in the case of vastly growing numbers of foreign visitors to Hornstrandir Nature Reserve in Iceland. Tourist numbers are now such as to threaten the rare Arctic fox in the area.

Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is one of the most beautiful places in whole of Iceland. Quite a feat considering this place is loaded with magnificent spots all over. While the sheer beauty is the main attraction there is also the huge bonus of the area being largely totally void of human habitation.

Hornstrandir has always enticed locals for its remote location and majestic nature. But only in very low numbers. That is changing quite rapidly with the influx of foreigners now wanting a peek too. Which in and by itself is just fine. Problem is, visitors tend to change things unknowingly. Like tourists throwing treats to the adorable little foxes found around here.

A recent study in Iceland has shown that in many cases the foxes are being treated so often as to become dependent on foods from tourists.Then suddenly winter comes around, the tourists vanish and the foxes, due to being fed rather easily, find their winter supply stores empty. They die.

Team Total Iceland knows personally how hard it is to resist those beautiful little creatures and it is certainly a loving gesture to throw the animals some leftovers while staying here. In turn, they come closer and become all the more friendly which again makes it doubly more difficult not to give them something more.

But if the studies are correct, and the conclusion is certainly in line with similar findings elsewhere in the world, your gift of food is in effect a a death sentence. It is imperative the Arctic fox successfully hunts for himself to be able to survive in what is undoubtedly the harshest place in cold and windy Iceland.

Please, keep this in mind. The Arctic fox is rare already on this island.

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