Full text: Iceland 1930

oreeding has been allowed on account of their valuable fur; but they 
have to be carefully guarded so as to exclude the possibility of their 
escaping and doing harm fo other people's stock. Reindeer were brought 
from Norway in 1771, and live in a wild state in the interior, especi- 
ally in the north-eastern regions. Before and about 1900 they were 
killed in such great numbers as to be almost completely exterminated. 
They have therefore been protected during the last few years. Polar 
bears do not live in Iceland, but are sometimes carried to the north 
oast on floes of Polar ice. 
A great variety of seals is found round the coasts of Iceland, the 
best known being the common seal, which is extensively caught and 
of some importance to the people. On the other hand, this seal often 
does a great deal of damage to salmon and trout-fishing by keeping 
lo the river mouths and devouring these fishes when they ascend from 
‘he sea. There are also various kinds of whale to be found along the 
coast. Formerly whaling used to be an almost unknown trade, but the 
drifting ashore of whales with the Polar ice was by no means an un- 
common ,godsend“ to the people. But when late in the 19th century 
whaling in Icelandic waters was begun by the Norwegians, the larger 
species were so rapidly reduced in number, that the hunting of baleen 
whales on the coast of Iceland is now forbidden by law. 
Among the very few kinds of birds wintering inland, we may here 
mention the pfarmigan which is extensively shot and exported, and the 
Icelandic falcon. Formerly hawks were caught alive and trained for the 
hawking sport (gerfalcons), and were in such great demand, that the king 
issued an order to the effect that he alone should enjoy the privilege of 
having hawks caught in, and exported from, Iceland, and he used to send 
a ship to the island expressly for the purpose of fetching them. A hawk 
is drawn on the royal flag of Iceland. The swan generally hibernates 
on the shores of Iceland, and the sea eagle, now rarely met with, 
stays there all the year round. 
In summer many birds come to Iceland to hatch, the most common 
of which are the golden plover; the ringed plover; the redwing; the 
whimbrel; the redshank; the wheatear; the white wagtail. These birds, 
which are mostly protected, are met with all over the country, where 
they delight people with their singing and vivacity. Landbirds lay their 
eggs here and there far and wide, and are of very little economic 
importance, while from some of the swimmers which, in great numbers 
lay their eggs in islets, bird cliffs, and other convenient places, no mean 
benefit is derived. Of such aquatic birds the following mav be mentioned :

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