Nature reserve
A nature reserve is a protected area
Protected area
Protected areas are locations which receive protection because of their recognised natural, ecological and/or cultural values. There are several kinds of protected areas, which vary by level of protection depending on the enabling laws of each country or the regulations of the international...

 of importance for wildlife
Wildlife includes all non-domesticated plants, animals and other organisms. Domesticating wild plant and animal species for human benefit has occurred many times all over the planet, and has a major impact on the environment, both positive and negative....

, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation
Conservation ethic
Conservation is an ethic of resource use, allocation, and protection. Its primary focus is upon maintaining the health of the natural world: its, fisheries, habitats, and biological diversity. Secondary focus is on materials conservation and energy conservation, which are seen as important to...

 and to provide special opportunities for study or research
Research can be defined as the scientific search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories, usually using a scientific method...

. Nature reserves may be designated by government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 institutions in some countries, or by private landowners, such as charities and research institution
An institution is any structure or mechanism of social order and cooperation governing the behavior of a set of individuals within a given human community...

s, regardless of nationality. Nature reserves fall into different IUCN categories depending on the level of protection afforded by local laws.


King Devanampiya Tissa of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

 established one of the world's earliest wildlife sanctuaries in the 3rd century BC. However, dating back to antiquity there are various cultural practices that equate roughly to the establishment and maintaining of reserved areas for biota including fish, waterfowl and other animals. These would often have a religious underpinning—for example the 'evil forest' areas of West Africa were forbidden to humans, who were threatened with spiritual attack if they went there. Sacred areas taboo from human entry to fishing and are known by many ancient cultures worldwide.

In the modern era, the Drachenfels (Siebengebirge)
Drachenfels (Siebengebirge)
The Drachenfels is a mountain in the Siebengebirge mountain range near Bonn, Germany. The ruined castle atop the mountain bears the same name...

 is credited as being the first nature reserve. The site was bought by the Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

n State in 1836 to protect it from further quarrying. The first major nature reserve was Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park, established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872, is a national park located primarily in the U.S. state of Wyoming, although it also extends into Montana and Idaho...

, followed by the Royal National Park
Royal National Park
Royal National Park is a national park in New South Wales, Australia, 29 km south of Sydney CBD.Founded by Sir John Robertson, Acting Premier of New South Wales, and formally proclaimed on 26 April 1879, it is the world's second oldest purposed national park, the first usage of the term...

 near Sydney, Australia and Il'menskii zapovednik of Soviet Russia in 1920—the first of its kind set up by a federal government entirely for the scientific study of nature.


There are 29 nature reserves in Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 which cover 12% of Egyptian land. Those nature reserves were built according to the laws no. 102/1983 and 4/1994 for protection of the Egyptian nature reserve. Egypt announced a plan from to build 40 nature reserves from 1997 to 2017, to help protect the natural resources and the culture and history of those areas. The largest nature reserve in Egypt is Gebel Elba
Gebel Elba
Gebel Elba or Elba Mountain is a peak and, in general, includes the associated mountainous area in the Hala'ib Triangle area. This area, despite being claimed by Sudan, is currently under Egyptian control.-Geography:...

 (35600 square kilometres (13,745.2 sq mi)) in the southeast, on the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...


European Union


In 1995 Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 had 5,314 nature reserves covering 6845 km² (2,642.9 sq mi), the largest total areas being in Bavaria with 1416 km² (546.7 sq mi) and Lower Saxony with 1275 km² (492.3 sq mi).


In Hungary there are 10 national Parks, more than 15 nature reserves and more than 250 protected areas.


The oldest nature reserve in Poland seems to be the Białowieża Forest, which is now protected as a national park
National park
A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns. Although individual nations designate their own national parks differently A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or...

. The forest was declared a hunting
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

 reserve in 1541. When Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 regained independence in 1918, there were 39 natural reserves established within its borders. As of 2008, Poland has 1407 nature reserves of areas ranging from 0.5 to 5000 ha (1.2 to 12,355.3 ). Most of the reserves are located in the mountains in southern Poland.

United Kingdom

There are some differences between the regulations for England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

, Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 and Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, which are separately managed.

At the end of March 2004, there were 215 NNRs (National Nature Reserves) in England
National Nature Reserves in England
National Nature Reserves in England are managed by Natural England and are key places for wildlife and natural features in England. They were established to protect the most important areas of habitat and of geological formations...

 with a total area of 879 square kilometres. The Reserves are scattered through England, from Lindisfarne
Lindisfarne is a tidal island off the north-east coast of England. It is also known as Holy Island and constitutes a civil parish in Northumberland...

 in Northumberland
Northumberland is the northernmost ceremonial county and a unitary district in North East England. For Eurostat purposes Northumberland is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "Northumberland and Tyne and Wear" NUTS 2 region...

 to The Lizard
The Lizard
The Lizard is a peninsula in south Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The most southerly point of the British mainland is near Lizard Point at ....

 in Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

. Nearly every rural county has at least one. Many NNRs contain nationally important populations of rare flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

s, fern
A fern is any one of a group of about 12,000 species of plants belonging to the botanical group known as Pteridophyta. Unlike mosses, they have xylem and phloem . They have stems, leaves, and roots like other vascular plants...

s and moss
Mosses are small, soft plants that are typically 1–10 cm tall, though some species are much larger. They commonly grow close together in clumps or mats in damp or shady locations. They do not have flowers or seeds, and their simple leaves cover the thin wiry stems...

es, butterflies and other insect
Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body , three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae...

s, and nesting and wintering bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

s. Examples include unique alpine plant
Alpine plant
Alpine plants are plants that grow in the alpine climate, which occurs at high elevation and above the tree line. Alpine plants grow together as a plant community in alpine tundra.-Alpine plant diversity:...

s at Upper Teesdale
Upper Teesdale
Upper Teesdale is a Site of Special Scientific Interest in the Teesdale district of west County Durham, England. It encompasses an extensive upland area that includes the headwaters of the River Tees and the surrounding catchment area upstream of the village of Langdon Beck.The site has a diverse...

 and the field of Snake's Head Fritillaries
Fritillaria meleagris
Fritillaria meleagris is a fritillary in the family Liliaceae. Its common names include Snake's Head Fritillary, Snake's Head , Checkered Daffodil, Chess Flower, Frog-cup, Guinea-hen Flower, Leper Lily , Frog-cup, Lazarus bell or, in northern...

 at North Meadow, Cricklade
North Meadow, Cricklade
North Meadow, Cricklade is a hay meadow near the village of Cricklade, in Wiltshire, England. It is 24.6 hectares in size.Over 250 species of higher plant occur in the meadow, but it is of particular note as it holds by far the largest British population of the Snake's-head Fritillary...

, Wiltshire
Wiltshire is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers...


There are now over 1050 LNRs (Local Nature Reserves)
Local Nature Reserve
Local nature reserve or LNR is a designation for nature reserves in the United Kingdom. The designation has its origin in the recommendations of the Wild Life Conservation Special Committee which established the framework for nature conservation in the United Kingdom and suggested a national suite...

 in England. They range from windswept coastal headlands, ancient woodlands and flower-rich meadows to former inner-city railways, long-abandoned landfill sites and industrial areas now re-colonised by wildlife. In total they cover almost 40,000 ha—an impressive natural resource which makes an important contribution to England's biodiversity. A good example is Rye Harbour Nature Reserve
Rye Harbour SSSI
Rye Harbour Site of Special Scientific Interest is a nature reserve located on the western side of the mouth of the River Rother at Rye Harbour, about 1 mile downstream from Rye East Sussex...

 in East Sussex, where a network of footpaths enables visitors to explore shingle, saltmarsh, saline lagoon, reedbed and grazing marsh habitats.
Through the Natural Heritage (Scotland) Act 1991 the Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) was established in 1992 as a Government body, responsible to the Scottish Government Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament. At 31 March 2008 there were 65 Scottish NNRs
National Nature Reserves in Scotland
National Nature Reserves in Scotland are established by Scottish Natural Heritage. Until 2004 there were 73 National Nature Reserves in Scotland, as per the list below...

 with a total area of approximately 1330 square kilometres. Following Section 21 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 the Local Authorities have the exclusive statutory power to establish an LNR in consultation with the SNH.


By the end of 2009 there were 10 nature reserves in Kyrgyzstan covering 600000 hectares (6,000 km²) or about 3% of the total area of the country.

New Zealand

In New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 a number of separate distinctions are made for the term nature reserves. Wilderness
Wilderness or wildland is a natural environment on Earth that has not been significantly modified by human activity. It may also be defined as: "The most intact, undisturbed wild natural areas left on our planet—those last truly wild places that humans do not control and have not developed with...

 areas, National Park
National parks of New Zealand
The national parks of New Zealand are 14 protected areas administered by the Department of Conservation "for the benefit, use, and enjoyment of the public". These are popular tourist destinations, with three-tenths of tourists visiting at least one national park during their stay in New Zealand...

s, scenic reserves, scientific reserves and forest parks are all types of nature reserves with varying degrees of protection
Environmental protection
Environmental protection is a practice of protecting the environment, on individual, organizational or governmental level, for the benefit of the natural environment and humans. Due to the pressures of population and our technology the biophysical environment is being degraded, sometimes permanently...

. A comparatively new concept in wildlife preservation, pioneered in New Zealand, is the Ecological Island
Ecological island
An ecological island is not necessarily an island surrounded by water, but is an area of land, isolated by natural or artificial means from the surrounding land, where a natural micro-habitat exists amidst a larger differing ecosystem....



There are around 100 nature reserves in Russia, covering some 330000 square kilometres (127,413.7 sq mi), or about 1.4% of the country's total area. A few of them predate the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 of 1917, but most have been created during the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 era. There are also natural protected areas where only certain species are protected, or only certain activities are prohibited; those are known as zakaznik .

South Africa

South Africa is well known for its many reserves, including Shamwari
Shamwari Game Reserve
Shamwari Game Reserve is located in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa. It is part of the Mantis Group and has been voted the World's Leading game reserve and conservation company for many consecutive years ....

, Londolozi
Londolozi Private Game Reserve
Londolozi Private Game Reserve, is part of the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, situated on the western border of the Kruger National Park, which together with some other parks make up the Greater Kruger National Park. Londolozi is Zulu for "protecting it", and has an area of about 7.000 Ha.The...

, Sanbona and Lalibela. It currently has 20 national parks covering 3700000 hectares (37,000 km²), about 3% of the total area of South Africa. The best-known is Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It covers and extends from north to south and from east to west.To the west and south of the Kruger National Park are the two South African provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga. In the north is Zimbabwe, and to the east is...

, which is also the oldest (proclaimed in 1898), and the largest, at nearly 2000000 hectares (20,000 km²). The Kruger Park and Table Mountain National Park
Table Mountain National Park
Table Mountain National Park, previously known as the Cape Peninsula National Park, is a national park in Cape Town, South Africa, proclaimed on May 29, 1998, for the purpose of protecting the natural environment of the Table Mountain Chain, and in particular the rare fynbos vegetation...

 are two of South Africa's most visited tourist attractions. It also has a number of World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

s and peace parks, as well as many provincial and private parks.

United States

In the U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 the United States Fish and Wildlife Service
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is a federal government agency within the United States Department of the Interior dedicated to the management of fish, wildlife, and natural habitats...

 is responsible for managing many nature reserves including National Wildlife Refuge
National Wildlife Refuge
National Wildlife Refuge is a designation for certain protected areas of the United States managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Wildlife Refuge System is the world's premiere system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife and plants...

s. State and local governments administer others and some belong to private trusts, which are funded through personal donations. There are currently 2,205 preservations in the United States. Private nature reserves exist with land excluded from private land trusts, and maintained at the sole cost of the proprietor. Wilbur Hot Springs
Wilbur Hot Springs
Wilbur Hot Springs is a naturally occurring historic hot spring, health sanctuary, personal retreat and nature preserve in Williams, California, in Colusa County, California in northern California, USA, about 2 hours northeast of the San Francisco Bay Area, 1½ hours north of the Sacramento...

' Dr. Richard Louis Miller donated 1800 acres (7.3 km²) of land in this manner, and is an example of this type of private nature reserve.

See also

  • Biodiversity
    Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. In terrestrial habitats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions...

  • Biosphere Reserve
    Biosphere reserve
    The Man and the Biosphere Programme of UNESCO was established in 1971 to promote interdisciplinary approaches to management, research and education in ecosystem conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.-Development:...

  • Conservation designation
    Conservation designation
    A conservation designation is a name and/or acronym which explains the status of an area of land in terms of conservation or protection.-United Kingdom:*Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty *Environmentally Sensitive Area*Local Nature Reserve...

  • Country park
    Country park
    A country park is an area designated for people to visit and enjoy recreation in a countryside environment.-History:In the United Kingdom the term 'Country Park' has a special meaning. There are over 400 Country Parks in England alone . Most Country Parks were designated in the 1970s, under the...

  • Extractive reserve
    Extractive reserve
    An extractive reserve is an area of land, generally state-owned where access and use rights, including natural resource extraction, are allocated to local groups or communities....

  • Game Reserve
    Game reserve
    A game reserve is an area of land set aside for maintenance of wildlife for tourism or hunting purposes. Many game reserves are located in Africa. Most are open to the public, and tourists commonly take sightseeing safaris or hunt wild game....

  • Marine park
    Marine park
    A marine park is a park consisting of an area of sea sometimes protected for recreational use, but more often set aside to preserve a specific habitat and ensure the ecosystem is sustained for the organisms that exist there...

  • National park
    National park
    A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns. Although individual nations designate their own national parks differently A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or...

  • Protected area
    Protected area
    Protected areas are locations which receive protection because of their recognised natural, ecological and/or cultural values. There are several kinds of protected areas, which vary by level of protection depending on the enabling laws of each country or the regulations of the international...

  • Wildlife corridor
    Wildlife corridor
    A wildlife corridor or green corridor is an area of habitat connecting wildlife populations separated by human activities . This allows an exchange of individuals between populations, which may help prevent the negative effects of inbreeding and reduced genetic diversity that often occur within...

  • Wildlife refuge
    Wildlife refuge
    A wildlife refuge, also called a wildlife sanctuary, may be a naturally occurring sanctuary, such as an island, that provides protection for species from hunting, predation or competition, or it may refer to a protected area, a geographic territory within which wildlife is protected...

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.