The IUCN categoriesThere are many different types of protected areas across the world. The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has split them into six categories. Even though the IUCN call category II 'National Parks', the UKs National Parks are actually in category V.
I. Strict Nature Reserve/Wilderness Area:
A protected area managed mainly for science or wilderness protection
Denali National Park and Preserve, USA.
© Frank Kovalchek
II. National Park:
A protected area managed mainly for ecosystem protection and recreation.
Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park, Thailand.
© Jason Ellsworth-Aults
III. Natural Monument:
A protected area managed mainly for conservation of specific, unique natural features.
Owachomo Bridge, Natural Bridges National Monument, USA.
© Paul Kelly
IV. Habitat/Species Management Area:
A protected area managed mainly to preserve specific species and to maintain habitats
Young Gator at Lake Woodruff Wildlife Refuge, USA.
© Andrea Westmoreland
V. Protected Landscape/Seascape:
A protected area managed mainly for landscape/seascape protection and recreation.
Cairngorms National Park, UK.
© Bruce McAdam
VI. Managed Resource Protected Area:
A protected area managed mainly for the sustainable use of natural ecosystems.
Wudangshan Scenic Area, China.
© Kevin Fai
- Europarc Federation
- European Charter for Sustainabe Tourism in Protected Areas
- IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature
- IUCN Category V Protected Areas - best practice guidelines
- United Nations 2003 List of Protected Areas - pdf
- World Heritage Sites
- World Commission on Protected Areas, WCPA
- World Database for Protected Areas, WDPA
- World Conservation Monitoring Centre - protected area cateogry definitions and examples
Examples of international National Parks
- Yellowstone National Park Factsheet
- Denali National Park and Preserve Factsheet
- National Park Service USA
- Serengeti National Park
- Komodo National Park Factsheet
- Komodo National Park Homepage
- Hohe Tauern National Park
- National Park Service Public Use Statistic Office source for USA National Parks Visitor numbers