Up to 57,000 ptarmigan may be hunted this season in Iceland according to a proposal from the Icelandic Institute of Natural History. According to the proposal, an increase in ptarmigan numbers was measured in two parts of the country last summer. The number of ptarmigan chicks had increased by 78 percent in the northeast and 79 percent in the southwest of the country.
The estimated total number of ptarmigan in Iceland as of this spring is 173,000. In 2016 the number was 132,000. The populations are, however, at a low in Southeast Iceland and in the West Fjords.
Last year the institute believed ptarmigan stock could withstand the hunting of 40,000 birds. This year, according to the proposal, up to 57 thousand birds may be hunted without having a negative impact on the population.
The hunting season for ptarmigan is 12 days, normally spread out over several weekends.