How Much Do You Really Know About National Parks?



9 Questions

What was the world's first national park service?

Which country has both federal and provincial/territorial national parks?

What is the largest national park in the world that meets the IUCN definition?

What is the smallest official national park in the world?

What is the role of a park ranger?

What is the controversy surrounding the creation of national parks?

What is the economic impact of national parks?

What is the ongoing debate about national parks?

What is the main characteristic of national parks?


National Parks: A Brief History and Overview

  • National parks are natural parks used for conservation purposes, created and protected by national governments.

  • The United States established the first national park, Yellowstone National Park, in 1872, although the Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve and the area surrounding Bogd Khan Uul Mountain are seen as the oldest legally protected areas.

  • Parks Canada, established in 1911, became the world's first national park service.

  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has defined "National Park" as its Category II type of protected areas, and in 2006, 6,555 national parks worldwide met its criteria.

  • National parks are almost always open to visitors, and their defining characteristics include a large area of natural land, natural beauty, and conservation of natural resources.

  • National parks are generally administered by national governments, but in Australia, national parks are run by state governments, and in Canada, there are both national parks operated by the federal government and provincial or territorial parks operated by the provincial and territorial governments.

  • Many countries do not adhere to the IUCN definition of national parks, and the term "national park" may be used loosely, while "preserve" or "reserve" may be used instead.

  • Yellowstone National Park was established as the United States' first national park in 1872, followed by parks in other nations, such as Banff National Park in Canada in 1885 and Tongariro National Park in New Zealand in 1887.

  • The world's first national park service was established in Canada in 1911, while the U.S. National Park Service was established in 1916.

  • The largest national park in the world meeting the IUCN definition is the Northeast Greenland National Park, while the smallest official national park in the world is Isles des Madeleines National Park.

  • National parks have economic ramifications, with countries with a large ecotourism industry experiencing a huge economic effect on park management as well as the economy of the country as a whole.

  • The role of a park ranger includes supervising, managing, and/or performing work in the conservation and use of park resources, as well as fire fighting responsibilities and executing search and rescue missions.

  • National parks have a positive environmental service, but many authors have discussed the darker side of their history, including the displacement of indigenous peoples and the exclusion of marginalized communities.Controversies Surrounding National Parks

  • National parks were created to preserve nature and wildlife.

  • Native communities were removed from areas designated as national parks to create “pristine” sites.

  • Critics argue that this removal of people from national parks perpetuates the dichotomy between humans and nature.

  • Some see the creation of national parks as a form of eco-land grabbing.

  • Travelling to national parks may lead people to ignore the nature that exists around them every day.

  • Tourism can negatively impact the areas being visited.

  • There are concerns about the effects of climate change on national parks.

  • National parks face issues with overcrowding and the strain on resources.

  • The management of national parks is complex, involving various stakeholders and interests.

  • National parks can have economic benefits for nearby communities.

  • Indigenous communities are increasingly involved in the management and protection of national parks.

  • There is ongoing debate about the role and purpose of national parks in modern society.


Test your knowledge of National Parks with this informative quiz! From the history and definition of National Parks to their controversies and economic impact, this quiz covers a wide range of topics related to these natural wonders. See how much you know about the world's first National Park, the role of park rangers, and the effects of tourism on these protected areas. Take the quiz and discover just how much you know about National Parks!

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