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What are National Parks?

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  • Last Updated : 30 Sep, 2022
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Nature park is a place that has been designated as a protected natural area by long-term land planning, resource management, and restrictions on agricultural and residential development. These priceless vistas are protected in their current biological condition and promoted ecotourism. The majority of nations have conservation laws that include regulating the protection of natural parks. The category “Nature Park” is not the same as a “National Park,” which is classified by the IUCN and its World Commission on Protected Areas as a category II type of protected area, in terms of the level of protection. Depending on local conditions, a “Nature Park” designation lies between IUCN categories III and VI, most frequently closer to category VI. Some natural preserves, though, have evolved into national parks.

National Park

The purpose of national parks is to preserve the ecosystem. They take part in leisure and entertainment activities for the general public. A national park preserves the natural habitats of its plants, animals, and landscapes.

Indian wildlife is very diverse. Under the Indomalayan ecozone, it contains roughly 7.6% mammals, 6.2% reptiles, 12.6% birds, and 6.0% flowering plant species. Our nation’s several ecoregions, including the Shola forests, show significant levels of endemism. From the tropical rainforest, the Western Ghats, and Northeast India to the coniferous forests in the Himalayan region, the forests span a wide spectrum.

The Indomalayan ecozone’s major terrestrial ecology includes temperate, arctic, wet, and dry zones where various species can survive. Along with many kinds of flora and fauna, the species include elephants, tigers, cobra, crocodiles, apes, sambar deer, spotted deer, rhinoceros, goats, and lions.

There are around 99 national parks in India that are recognized internationally. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Biodiversity, also known as the IUCN, has designated each of these national parks and wildlife reserves as belonging to the second category of protected areas.

History of National Park

Early references

Procida was the first protected site; the difference between it and the many previous royal hunting preserves, which are considered to be closer to parks than hunting preserves, is that the Neapolitan government already considered the division into modern wilderness areas and non-strict nature reserves. Beginning in 1735, laws were passed by the Naples government to protect Natural areas that could be used as a game reserve by the royal family.

The Lake District is a “kind of national property, in which every man has a right and interest who has an eye to notice and a heart to enjoy,” according to English poet William Wordsworth in 1810. During his travels across the American West in the 1830s, the painter George Catlin suggested that Native Americans in the United States may be preserved in a magnificent park. Man and animal coexist in a national park that showcases the untamed splendor of nature.

First efforts: Hot Springs, Arkansas, and Yosemite Valley

The 22nd United States Congress passed legislation to set aside four sections of land around what is now Hot Springs, Arkansas, to protect the natural thermal springs and adjacent mountainside for the future use of the U.S. government on April 20, 1832, marking the first attempt by the federal government of the United States to set aside such protected lands. Although there was no established legal authority, it was known as the Hot Springs Reservation. The region was not clearly under federal control until 1877. The growth of legal action was greatly aided by the efforts of influential individuals who championed the conservation of wildlife and land. Some of these figures in history include John Muir, Laurance Rockefeller, Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, and Lady Bird Johnson, to mention a few.

Due to his efforts in Yosemite, John Muir is now known as the “Father of the National Parks.” He wrote two key pieces for The Century Magazine that served as the foundation for later legislation.

On July 1, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln gave the state of California the Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of massive sequoias by signing an act of Congress. This bill made it illegal for people to own the land in this area privately. The management of the park for “public use, resort, and enjoyment” was assigned to the state of California. Ten-year leases were allowed, and the money from them had to go toward conservation and improvement. Following this pioneering piece of law, there was a contentious public controversy about whether the government had the power to establish parks. When Yellowstone was established six years later, it was because of the alleged poor administration of Yosemite by the Californian state.

First national park: Yellowstone

As the first national park in both the United States and the entire world, Yellowstone National Park was created in 1872. However, national protection and nature reserves already existed in certain European and Asian nations, usually as game reserves and leisure areas set aside for royalty, such as a portion of the Forest of Fontainebleau.

Yellowstone was a part of a region under federal control. The park, the official first national park of the United States, was directly under the control of the federal government because there was no state government that could take over the management of the area. The Northern Pacific Railroad, politicians, and environmentalists worked together to guarantee that the United States Congress passed enabling legislation to establish Yellowstone National Park. The Boone and Crockett Club, an organization of conservationists founded by Theodore Roosevelt, was very active in their campaigns and had a significant impact on getting other Republicans and major corporations to support the legislation. As poachers and other criminals stood ready to plunder all they could from the area, Yellowstone National Park rapidly became crucial in the preservation of these national treasures. In order to safeguard Yellowstone National Park from this dilemma, Theodore Roosevelt and his newly established Boone and Crockett Club effectively took the initiative. This resulted in regulations intended to conserve the natural resources in Yellowstone and other parks under the control of the Government.

National parks are the best concept we have ever had, according to American author Wallace Stegner, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. They accurately depict us at our finest rather than at our worst and are wholly American and democratic.

International growth of national parks

The United States Mackinac National Park was the first place to adopt the term “national park” in the statute when it was established in 1875.

Soon after Yellowstone and Mackinac established the concept, other countries created their own parks. On April 26, 1879, the Colony of New South Wales in Australia founded what is now known as Royal National Park, which is the country’s second official national park. According to some estimates, the Royal National Park is the second-oldest national park still in existence after Mackinac lost its designation as a national park.

In 1885, Banff National Park was established as Canada’s first national park. Tongariro National Park was created in New Zealand in 1887. View of the Lilienstein from the Gamrig at Saxon Switzerland National Park just after dawn. Nine parks in Sweden were the first national parks in Europe, and the Swiss National Park followed in 1914. Albert I of Belgium established Africa’s first national park in 1925 when he named the Albert National Park in a region of what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo that is centered on the Virunga Mountains.

Although it was an expansion of the older Sabie Game Reserve founded in 1898 by President Paul Kruger of the former South African Republic, after whom the park was named, it was proclaimed by the government of South Africa as the country’s first national park in 1926. With the establishment of Nahuel Huapi National Park in 1934, Argentina became the third nation in the Americas to establish a national park system under Francisco Moreno’s urging.

National parks were established all across the world following World War II. Peak District National Park was established as the UK’s first national park in 1951. There had been pressure for probably 70 years to allow more people access to the terrain. Nine further national parks had been established in the UK by the end of the decade. As of 2010, there were 359 national parks in Europe. After widespread opposition to a tourism scheme, the Vanoise National Park in the Alps became the first French national park in 1963.

The first place in the former Soviet Union to be named a national park was Lahemaa National Park in Estonia in 1971.

Mount Kilimanjaro was designated a national park in 1973, and in 1977 it was made accessible to the general public. The Tibet Autonomous Region of China’s Qomolangma National Nature Preserve (QNNP) was established in 1989 to save the 3.381 million acres of land on the north face of Mount Everest. This national park is the first significant park in the world without a separate warden and protection personnel. All management is carried out by already-existing local authorities, which results in lower costs and greater geographic coverage. Four of the six tallest mountains in the world are found there: Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Everest, and Makalu. The QNNP borders four national parks in Nepal, forming a transnational conservation area the size of Switzerland.

Importance of National Park

  • In order to maintain the region through natural ways.
    • Examples include biotic communities, physiographic regions, genetic resources, and unhampered natural processes.
  • To keep populations that are livable and ecologically useful. Long-term conservation efforts are made for this combination of native species at high densities, as well as for the ecosystem’s resilience.
  • In order to prevent major biological or ecological damage to natural resources, visitor use must be managed for inspirational, educational, cultural, and recreational purposes.
  • Should consider the requirements of local communities, particularly the usage of resources for subsistence, and of indigenous people. These thus far won’t have a negative impact on the main management goal.
  • Help support regional economies through tourism.

FAQs on National Park

Question 1: What do you mean by the national park?

Answer:

A national park is a sizable piece of land that the government protects due to its natural beauty, vegetation, and animals and that the general public is usually allowed to visit.

Question 2: Who declared a national park?

Answer:

State and federal administrations can both proclaim areas as national parks. A resolution passed by the State Legislature is required before a national park’s limits can be changed.

Question 3: What was the first national park?

Answer:

The Yellowstone National Park Protection Act was enacted into law on March 1, 1872, by President Ulysses S. Grant. The first national park in the world was created.

Question 4: Why national parks are made?

Answer:

They guard beautiful natural areas and harbor a number of endemic species. Additionally, they safeguard the areas that are crucial to Aboriginal people. The conservation of biodiversity is a primary goal of sites like national parks.

Question 5: How national parks are formed in India?

Answer:

If the Central Government determines that an area has sufficient ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, natural, or zoological value for the purpose of safeguarding, propagating, or developing wildlife or its environment, the area may be declared a sanctuary or national park.

Question 6: How many National Forest are in India?

Answer:

In India now, there are 50 tiger reserves and 103 national parks. Seventy percent of the world’s wild tigers, white lions, sloth bears, hundreds of bird species, and a wide variety of other flora and animals are preserved and protected by them. Wildlife enthusiasts can find a utopia in Kanha National Park.


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