Monitoring of rock ptarmigan population

The goal of monitoring is to track Iceland’s rock ptarmigan population. Researchers collect data on annual changes to given population parameters (indices) and identify fluctuations in the ptarmigan’s population size and sustainable harvest to provide timely, reliable, and informed advice on sustainable ptarmigan hunting in Iceland. The population index is evaluated by counting the number of territorial cocks in breeding areas in spring. Breeding success is assessed in late summer by counting ptarmigan young.

As part of long-term monitoring, several special projects are ongoing:

  • Rock ptarmigan health
  • A population model for the Icelandic rock ptarmigan
  • Rock ptarmigan genetics

IINH Contact: Ólafur K. Nielsen