Parks of the World
The concept of a National Park was born in the USA
with the creation of Yellowstone National Park in 1872, and Yosemite
in 1896. The idea spread first to Canada, and has recently gained
additional momentum to the point that there are now over 2000 worldwide.
In this category we include national forests, national monuments
and nature reserves, which bring the total to over 4000 regions.
Nature reserves are generally established to protect specific often
endangered species. A more generic term used by UNESCO is the term
biosphere zone, which means protection of everything within an area,
including air, water and geological formations. UNESCO has established
something called the world heritage list, which is a list of places
that have been noted as of value to mankind. These sites include
areas of indigenous people, unique geological formations and archeological
sites, but many of the heritage sites are also areas with unique
fauna (animals) and flora (plant forms). Although there are some
general rules that a national park should have a minimum size, there
is no international organization that certifies parks.
Many countries have recently created numerous national
parks for a variety of reasons. In some it is to promote eco-tourism,
others are trying to protect animal species or national forests.
The regions of the world with the highest density of parks is South
East Asia (Thailand alone has 135 national parks), followed by Central
America and the northern portion of South America. However the largest
parks are in the far northern regions of North America and the southern
tip of South America, as well as the desert regions in Africa. The
Arab countries with the exception of Iran have few national parks
or protected regions. The Russian park system is one of the oldest
in the world having been authorized by Lenin. However most of their
parks are not open to the public, they are Zapodveniks (strictly
protected nature reserves) or Zakaznik(regional nature reserves).
Another important category is wetlands, known as "ramsar"
sites after a location in Iran where the organization first meet.
Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization) has established a list of world
heritage sites, which include historical and geographic sites,
but includes many national parks. Other links on the clickable maps
are to Government sites, travel companies, bird watching organizations,
the selected sites are those providing the most information about
The maps used on this site were created using the software
"Geoworld', the page translation was done with "Trandoc".
For information on these products and much more see the main site
Bobby knows Bridge ,
Click on a tree on the map below to go to a website about that park,
or select one of the larger maps from the menu on the left.