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Drones Banned in Vatnajökull National Park

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Drones Banned in Vatnajökull National Park

Dettifoss waterfall.

Dettifoss waterfall. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Park rangers have banned the use of drones in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park, except in special instances, Vísir reports. Drones have in recent years become increasingly popular for use in photography. The ban is intended for nature protection.

“Out of concern for other guests and animal life, the use of drones is prohibited,” the signs read that have been put up at the most popular tourist destinations, among them Dettifoss waterfall, Ásbyrgi and several places in Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. Park ranger Guðmundur Ögmundsson states the decision was made this summer for a simple reason: nature protection.

“First and foremost, we are protecting the habitat of falcons,” Guðmundur explained, but Jökulsárgljúfur canyon is an important habitat for them. He added that in other countries, drones are known to have had a negative effect on falcons’ laying eggs, and, therefore, their impact is expected to be similar in Iceland. The ban is also enacted for the security of tourists, who will no longer risk being hit in the head by the flying objects. Besides, the noise from drones has been a cause for complaint.

Exceptions from the ban will be granted to researchers and film makers, with certain restrictions.

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