The area covers the shore and islands from álftanes to Akrar, c.15 km west of Borgarnes town. Habitats comprise extensive intertidal flats (including eel-grass Zostera beds), coastal saltmarshes and numerous islands, lagoons, freshwater marshes and standing pools of brackish and salt water. Land-uses are mainly grazing, eider husbandry (Somateria mollissima) and egg-collecting (`Other' land-use).
A rich area for coastal waterbirds. Mýrar is one of the main breeding areas in Iceland for Gavia stellata; also common as breeders are Sterna paradisaea (a few thousand pairs) and Fratercula arctica (the islands of Geldingaey and Lambeyjar hold one of the five largest colonies in Iceland). Calidris alba occurs in notable numbers (1,000) on passage.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
No serious threats are known. The area is on the list of sites of conservation interest in the Nature Conservation Register. The site is an enlarged and re-named version of the IBA `Hjörsey-Straumfjördur', formerly IS025 in the previous international IBA inventory (Grimmett and Jones 1989).
National None International None
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Alftanes-Akrar. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 08/12/2019.