What are NATIONAL and NATURAL PARKS and their differences

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There are many geographic areas that, due to their exceptional wealth of flora and fauna, become protected areas from an environmental point of view. This allows them to be areas that, thanks to very restrictive regulations, become spaces that are as isolated as possible from human activities that could contaminate and degrade their wealth and biological and ecological value.

However, one of the questions that arise regarding the parks is about their typologies. Although there are other types, the most common are the so-called National Parks and Natural Parks, which are usually very similar areas and, on occasions, we can speak of parks that have both recognitions. Then, what are National and Natural Parks and their differences? Keep reading Green Ecologist because in this article we explain it to you.

What is a National Park

The national park concept is associated with a Geographic area, which can be both terrestrial and aquatic, which, due to its particular richness of flora and fauna, is protected in a special way to improve its conservation. This protection refers to certain limitations, such as, for example, that it is not possible to build in these areas, as well as that activities that would be harmful to the environment cannot be carried out, or that, for example, the number of visitors is limited. that they can access its interior in a certain period of time, as well as that they have to do so in special vehicles enabled for it instead of in their respective private vehicles.

Likewise, the National Parks, beyond the environmental value they have, they also have a marked value of scientific interest. This refers, in general, to the presence of autochthonous species typical of that area, which makes scientific interest, especially biological, also an incentive when it comes to conserving that area in perfect conditions of respect and respect. without altering the ecosystem as much as possible.

Finally, as its name indicates, National Parks are also characterized by the fact that management is usually carried out by the state government, that is, the government of the nation, hence the name.

What is a Natural Park

As with the National Parks, the Natural parks are spaces that, due to their particular ecosystem of Flora and fauna, they should receive a special treatment that protects said space. In this sense, the same protection measures already mentioned or, at least, very similar measures are taken into account.

However, unlike what happened in the case of National Parks, Natural Parks do not usually have such a marked presence of native species. Consequently, despite being spaces of great natural wealth, They are not so important from a scientific point of view, since the species that can be found in their territory are also present in other geographical areas or parks.

Finally, another factor that tends to be decisive when it comes to differentiating a Natural Park from a National Park is that Natural Parks are normally managed by local or regional governments. That is, they do not depend directly on the government of the nation, but on the regional governments where they are located. For example, in the case of Spain, the Natural Parks depend administratively on the Autonomous Communities.

In this Green Ecologist article you can learn much more about this topic and get to know the Main Natural Parks of Spain.

Differences between National Parks and Natural Parks

As we have seen, National Parks have greater protection that the Natural Parks and, as for the park management, nationals report directly to the national authority rather than the regional one. This is due to another important difference between National Parks and Natural Parks, the fact that in the former there are endemic and indigenous species that are not in other places or not in many others, so they require special attention.

However, there are particular cases in which the interest of the protected area is such that, although it is not the most common, formulas can be found that combine National Parks with Natural Parks.

Doñana National and Natural Park

One of the best examples that exist in this regard is found in Spain, specifically in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia. Doñana It is an area of special environmental interest due to its marshes and the great biodiversity of flora and fauna that can be found in this space. This led to the creation of the original park in 1969, a National Park directly dependent on the nation's government.

However, in 1989, the original National Park was expanded, as the bordering areas also had a particularly important environmental interest. In addition, this new area was also expanded in 1997, which made it one of the main protected environmental areas on the Iberian Peninsula.

In this way, currently, Doñana is made up of a National Park that occupies the heart and the most important area of the park, while, around it, another protected area extends, which is a continuation of the National Park but which, in this case , it is a Natural Park. In this way, we have an example of how both typologies can coexist perfectly and that, in fact, they fulfill different functions according to each case.

If you want to read more articles similar to What are National and Natural Parks and their differences, we recommend that you enter our Ecosystems category.

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