First national park and other national park facts

10 Fascinating National Park Facts

  • 5 min read
  • By Phillp Imler

National parks are sanctuaries that preserve the beauty and wonder of our natural world. From breathtaking landscapes to unique wildlife, these protected areas offer a glimpse into the untouched corners of the Earth. Let’s explore ten fascinating facts about national parks that highlight their diversity, significance, and the role they play in conservation and heritage.

1. What was the first national park?

Yellowstone National Park, established in 1872, holds the title of the world’s first national park. Located primarily in Wyoming, USA, and extending into Montana and Idaho, Yellowstone was created to preserve the area’s stunning geothermal features, rugged terrain, and diverse ecosystems, setting a precedent for national park creation worldwide.

2. What is the largest national park in the world?

Northeast Greenland National Park takes the crown as the largest national park in the world. Spanning an astonishing 972,000 square kilometers (375,000 square miles), it covers most of Northeast Greenland and is larger than many countries. Its vast and remote landscapes offer sanctuary to a wide range of Arctic wildlife.

3. What is the smallest national park in the world?

Moyenne Island National Park in the Seychelles is considered the smallest national park, covering just 0.089 square kilometers (22 acres). Despite its size, the park plays a significant role in biodiversity conservation, housing more than a hundred species of plants and numerous species of birds and reptiles.

4. What is the most remote national park in the world?

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve in Alaska, USA, is often cited as one of the most remote national parks due to its vast wilderness area and limited accessibility. However, for sheer isolation, Kure Atoll State Wildlife Sanctuary and Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Pacific Ocean, while not “national parks” in the traditional sense, represent some of the most remote protected areas managed by the United States, located thousands of miles from the nearest continent.

5. Which national park has the fewest visitors?

Kobuk Valley National Park in Alaska, USA, sees the fewest visitors of any U.S. national park, with just over 15,500 visitors in 2019. Its remote location and the challenging Arctic environment contribute to its low visitation numbers, despite its spectacular sand dunes and caribou migrations.

6. Which national park has the most visitors?

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, straddling the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, USA, is the most visited national park in the United States, with over 12.5 million visitors in 2019. Its accessibility, scenic beauty, and rich biodiversity attract millions of visitors each year.

7. Which national parks are home to World Wonders of Nature?

Several national parks house or are adjacent to recognized World Wonders. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Australia encompasses the Great Barrier Reef, Grand Canyon National Park covers the canyon, and Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia and Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe collectively protect the majestic Victoria Falls.  Sagarmatha National Park in Nepal features Mount Everest and several national parks across Alaska, Canada, and northern Europe provide viewing options of the Aurora Borealis.

Five of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World are found within the protection of the world’s national park system.

8. Which country has the most national parks?

Australia has over 650 national parks, showcasing the country’s commitment to conservation and natural heritage.  However, many of these labeled national parks are managed by local state authorities.  It is still an impressive investment by the country committing approximately 4% of its territory to national park protection.

9. Which country has the greatest percentage of territory protected by national parks?

Venezuela has one of the highest percentages of its territory designated as national parks, with over 20% of its land area protected. This includes Canaima National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is home to Angel Falls, the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall.

10. How many countries do not have any national parks?

While most countries have established national parks or protected areas, a few smaller nations and principalities, such as Monaco and Nauru, do not have national parks due to their limited land area. However, these countries often participate in other forms of environmental protection and conservation efforts.

National parks serve as a testament to the global commitment to preserving our planet’s natural beauty and biodiversity. From the vast frozen wilderness of Greenland to the tiny island of Moyenne, each park tells a unique story of conservation, adventure, and the enduring spirit of the wild. As we continue to explore and appreciate these natural wonders, let us also remember our responsibility to protect and cherish them for generations to come

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