Nature & Environment Jun 21, 2016

How One Woman is Saving the Icelandic Goat

A former nurse is using her farm to protect the endangered Icelandic Goat.

For years, the Icelandic Goat has been on the verge of extinction. At one point in time, the goat’s population fell to as low as 90 animals worldwide. Jóhanna Bergmann Þorvaldsdóttir, a former nurse, is currently breeding Icelandic Goats on her farm, Háafell. Thanks in part to the farm and Jóhanna’s efforts, the Icelandic Goat population is now over 800, with animals scattered on farms across the globe. This breed of goat now belongs to the Slow Food International Ark of Taste, a catalog of endangered, heritage breeds and other historical foods.

Háafell is the only commercial and breeding goat farm in Iceland. It’s home to 190 adult goats and 170 kids. Jóhanna has worked non-stop, alongside other local goat owners, to create public awareness and to create a new market for their cashmere wool and dairy products. The goats on Jóhanna’s farm were even featured in an episode of Game of Thrones!

The Icelandic Goat still has a long way to go, but thanks to Jóhanna’s efforts, the breed has a fighting chance. You can help by visiting Háafell where they take around 100 people on tours every day. Click here for more information.