Seals and environmental changes

Recently, the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute published a large report on the status of ecosystems around Iceland and the effect of environmental and climate change. The report is in Icelandic (there is no English version) and the title is “Staða umhverfis og vistkerfa í hafinu við Ísland og horfur næstu áratuga.” One of the chapters describes the status of seal populations around Iceland and the possible effects of environmental change. This chapter is authored by Sandra Granquist, head of Seal Research Department at the Icelandic Seal Center and seal specialist at the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute. The chapter starts on page 100.

The full report can be found here:

Open Lecture by Zoë Drion – 7.10.2021 – 20:00

In Belgium, the Hautes Fagnes State Nature Reserve is home to a very special bird the Black Grouse It is an emblematic and protected species, of which only a few individuals
remain The predation of the Red Fox on this bird is one of the obstacles to its survival.

In order to take adequate management measures to promote the recovery of the Black Grouse, it is necessary to study the local fox population, of which little is currently known.

During this talk I will present the findings of my master thesis. Its double objective was to estimate the current number of foxes in the area using camera traps and to see how the population has evolved since the 1980’s by studying the history of fox sightings.

New Book Chapter from DRT

A new book chapter, from Jessica Aquino and Georgette Leah Burns :

Creative tourism destinations offer the potential to enhance the local economy and community livelihoods by producing authentic and creative products for consumption. Over the past few decades the residents of Húnaþing vestra proactively built a creative tourism product as a strategy for enhancing resilience in their small rural community in northwest Iceland. Using a case study analysis approach, coupled with data collected from observations and interviews, we explore creative tourism in Húnaþing vestra, describing the concept behind Selasetur Íslands (the Icelandic Seal Center) and how it continues to play an integral part in maintaining a novel approach to supporting sustainable cultural development.

See the text here:
Aquino, J. F., & Burns, G. L. (2021). Creative Tourism: The Path to a Resilient Rural Icelandic Community. In Creative Tourism in Smaller Communities: Place, Culture, and Local Representation. Calgary: University of Calgary Press. Retrieved from

New paper published in the Department of Rural Tourism

A new paper was recently published by Jessica Aquino, Georgette Leah Burns, and Sandra M. Granquist.

The article, A responsible framework for managing wildlife watching tourism: The case of seal watching in Iceland, can be downloaded here for free for the next 50 days. This conceptual paper develops a framework that addresses the need to manage human-wildlife interactions in Arctic settings to ensure positive outcomes for wildlife, local people, and visitors. We argue that managers tasked with meeting these needs should do so in a cultural context where ethical frameworks are guided by sustainable and responsible management practices, however, these strategies are often absent in the literature. By reviewing current literature that investigates theoretical and practical understandings of wildlife watching management we build a methodological foundation for approaching wildlife watching management and identify the need for future management actions that include participation of multiple stakeholder groups. Taking a systems thinking approach we build a case for implementation of our Ethical Management Framework (EMF). Application of the framework is exemplified through a case study of seal watching management in Iceland. Our new framework can be applied in a wider range of wildlife tourism settings worldwide.

New Director

Páll Línberg Sigurðsson was hired to the position of Director of the Icelandic Seal Center, starting January 1, 2021.

Guðmundur Jóhannesson, chairman of the board of the Icelandic Seal Center (left), and Páll Línberg Sigurðsson, the new Director of the Icelandic Seal Center (right).
The new Director and the current Chairman of The Board signing the contract.