Site description A shallow eutrophic lake (Mývatn) with many islands and fed by cold and thermal springs. There are numerous small lakes, pools, bogs and sedge marshes (Carex, Eriophorum) in the surrounding area. The Laxá river drains the lake into Skjálfandi bay. `Rocky areas' here are lava. Land-uses include farming, fishing, energy production (hydroelectric and geothermal), mining and tourism.
Key Biodiversity The site holds 20,000 or more waterbirds on a regular basis. Some duck speciesAnas penelope, Aythya fuligula and Aythya marilabreed at higher densities than anywhere else in Europe. Other notable birds include diverse breeding waterbirds, raptors and passerines, and, outside the breeding season, moulting Mergus merganser (365 birds; mean 1975-1989).