A nature reserve (also known as natural reserve, bioreserve, natural/nature preserve, or natural/nature conserve) is a protected area of importance for flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research. Nature reserves may be designated by government institutions in some countries, or by private landowners, such as charities and research institutions, regardless of nationality. Nature reserves fall into different IUCN categories depending on the level of protection afforded by local laws. Normally it is more strictly protected than a nature park.
Cultural practices that roughly equate to the establishment and maintenance of reserved areas for animals date back to antiquity, with King Devanampiya Tissa of Anuradhapura establishing one of the world's earliest wildlife sanctuaries in the 3rd century BC. Early reservations often had a religious underpinning, such as the 'evil forest' areas of West Africa which were forbidden to humans, who were threatened with spiritual attack if they went there. Sacred areas taboo from human entry to fishing and hunting are known by many ancient cultures worldwide.
The world's first modern nature reserve was established in 1821 by the naturalist and explorer Charles Waterton around his estate in Walton Hall, West Yorkshire. He spent £9000 on the construction of a 3 mile long, 9 ft tall wall to enclose his park from poachers. He tried to encourage birdlife by planting trees and hollowing out trunks for owls to nest in.
He also invented artificial nest boxes to house starlings, jackdaws and sand martins and unsuccessfully attempted to introduce little owls from Italy. Waterton allowed local people access to his reserve and was described by David Attenborough as “one of the first people anywhere to recognise not only that the natural world was of great importance but that it needed protection as humanity made more and more demands on it”.
The first major nature reserve was Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, United States, followed by the Royal National Park near Sydney, Australia and the Barguzin Nature Reserve of Imperial Russia, the first of zapovedniks set up by a federal government entirely for the scientific study of nature.
In Australia, a nature reserve is the title of a type of protected area used in the jurisdictions of the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia. The term “nature reserve” is defined in the relevant statutes used in those states and territories rather than by a single national statute. As of 2016, 1767 out of a total of 11044 protected areas listed within the Australian National Reserve System used the term “nature reserve" in their names.
In Brazil, nature reserves are classified as ecological stations (Portuguese: )estações ecológicas) or biological reserves (Portuguese: reservas biológicas) by the National System of Conservation Units. Their main objectives are preserving fauna and flora and other natural attributes, excluding direct human interference. Visits are allowed only with permission, and only for educational or scientific purposes. Changes to the ecosystems in both types of reserve are allowed to restore and preserve the natural balance, biological diversity and natural ecological processes. Ecological stations are also allowed to change the environment within strictly defined limits (e.g. affecting no more than 3% of the area or 1,500 hectares (3,700 acres), whichever is less) for the purpose of scientific research. A wildlife reserve in Brazil is also protected, and hunting is not allowed, but products and by-products from research may be sold.
There are 30 nature reserves in Egypt 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 (35,600 square kilometres (13,700 sq mi)) in the southeast, on the Red Sea coast.
Denmark has three national parks and several nature reserves, some of them inside the national park areas. The largest single reserve is Hanstholm Nature Reserve, which covers 40 km2 (9,900 acres) and is part of Thy National Park.
In Sweden, there are 29 national parks. The first of them was established in 1909. In fact, Sweden was the first European country that established 9 national parks. There are almost 4,000 nature reserves in Sweden. They comprise about 85% of the surface that is protected by the Swedish Environmental Code.
In Estonia, there are 5 national parks, more than 100 nature reserves, and around 130 landscape protection areas. The largest nature reserve in Estonia is Alam-Pedja Nature Reserve, which covers 342 km2 (85,000 acres).
In 1995 Germany had 5,314 nature reserves (German: Naturschutzgebiete) covering 6,845 km2 (2,643 sq mi), the largest total areas being in Bavaria with 1,416 km2 (547 sq mi) and Lower Saxony with 1,275 km2 (492 sq mi).
In Hungary, there are 10 National Parks, more than 15 nature reserves and more than 250 protected areas. Hortobágy National Park is the largest continuous natural grassland in Europe and the oldest national park in Hungary. It is situated on the eastern part of Hungary, on the plain of the Alföld. It was established in 1972. There are alkaline grasslands interrupted by marshes. They have a sizable importance because there are the fishponds. One of the most spectacular sights of the park is the autumn migration of cranes. Some famous Hungarian animal species live in Hortobágy National Park, such as the grey cattle, racka long-wool sheep living only in Hungary, Hungarian horses and buffalo. Hortobágy National Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1 December 1999.
As of 2011, Poland has 1469 nature reserves.
Nature reserves are one of the 11 types of protected areas in Portugal. As of 2012, Portugal had a total of 46 protected areas, which represented 6,807.89 km2 (2,628.54 sq mi) of land and 463.94 km2 (179.13 sq mi) of marine surfaces. Among the protected areas, nine are classified as nature reserve (Portuguese: reserva natural).
About 5.18% of the area of Romania has a protected status (12,360 km²), including the Danube Delta, which makes up half of this area (2.43% of Romania's total area).
At the end of March 2004, there were 215 national nature reserves in England with a total area of 879 square kilometers. The reserves are scattered through England, from Lindisfarne in Northumberland to The Lizard in Cornwall. Nearly every rural county has at least one. Many national nature reserves contain nationally important populations of rare flowers, ferns and mosses, butterflies and other insects, and nesting and wintering birds. Examples include unique alpine plants at Upper Teesdale and the field of snake's head fritillaries at North Meadow, Cricklade, Wiltshire.
There are now over 1,050 local nature reserves 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-colonized 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 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 national nature reserves with a total area of approximately 1330 square kilometres. Section 21 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 gives local authorities the exclusive statutory power to establish a local nature reserve in consultation with the SNH.
Israel's National parks of Israel are declared historic sites or nature reserves, which are mostly operated and maintained by the National Nature and Parks Authority. As of 2019, Israel maintains more than 490 nature reserves that protect 2,500 species of indigenous wild plants, 20 species of fish, 400 species of birds and 70 species of mammals. Total, they cover (6,400 square kilometres (2,500 sq mi)) of nature reserves, approximately 28% of Israel land " In 1984, the two areas with the highest number of nature reserves were the South (15.2%) and Samaria (the Shomron, 13.5%).
Under the Nature Conservation Law, places can be designated as 'wilderness areas', 'nature conservation areas' and 'prefectural nature conservation areas'. In 1995, when the Japanese Government published its information in English, there were 5 wildernesses, 10 nature conservation areas and 516 prefectural nature conservation areas.
There are seven nature reserves in Jordan. In 1966 the organization that would later start Jordan's nature reserves, the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, was founded. RSCN's first efforts involved bringing back severely endangered species. In 1973, RSCN was given the right to issue hunting licenses, giving RSCN an upper hand in preventing extinction. The first step was the founding of Jordan's first nature reserve, Shaumari Wildlife Reserve, in 1975. The primary purpose was to create means to breed endangered species, specifically: the Arabian oryx, gazelles, ostriches, and Persian onagers in their natural environment.
By the end of 2009 there were 10 nature reserves (Kyrgyz: корук, koruk) in Kyrgyzstan covering 600,000 hectares (6,000 km2) or about 3% of the total area of the country.
New Zealand has a variety of types of reserve, including National Parks, various types of Conservation Areas (including stewardship land that is yet to be officially classified), and seven specific types of "Reserve", each of which prioritize various degrees of protection to different amenities such as scenery, recreation, flora and fauna, scientific value or history. Land is often sub-categorised beneath its general classification, as defined in law between the Reserves Act of 1977, the National Parks Act of 1980, and the Conservation Act of 1987. Under these classifications, the Department of Conservation administers more than 80,000 km2---nearly 30 percent of the nation's total area---with at least some degree of protection. This land is composed of 14 National Parks, 30 Conservation Parks, and approximately 8,900 discrete areas of land in total.
Although the most public land is strongly protected for natural preservation, the term nature reserve is specifically defined in the Reserves Act to mean a reserve that prioritizes the protection of rare flora and fauna, to the extent that public access is by permit only. Some of these reserves include Ecological Islands, a comparatively new concept in wildlife preservation, pioneered in New Zealand to help re-build the populations of nearly extinct birds, and other species that are heavily threatened by introduced predators.
In Nicaragua, the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MARENA) is in charge of environmental protection and of the study, planning, and management of Nicaragua's natural resources. Nearly one-fifth of the territory is designated as protected areas like national parks, nature reserves (including the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve), and biological reserves. Nicaragua has 78 protected areas that cover 22,422 km2, about 17.3% of the nation's landmass. Private nature reserves exist with land excluded from private land trusts and maintained at the sole cost of the proprietor. For example, "O Parks, WildLife, and Recreation" was established within the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor by former FDNY firefighter Kevin Michael Shea, who purchased 46 acres (0.19 km2) of land in this manner and is an example of this type of private nature reserve.
There are around 100 nature reserves (Russian: заповедник, zapovednik) in Russia, covering some 330,000 square kilometres (130,000 sq mi), or about 1.4% of the country's total area. A few of them predate the October Revolution of 1917, but most have been created during the Soviet Union era. There are also natural protected areas where only certain species are protected, or only certain activities are prohibited; those are known as zakaznik (Russian: заказник).
South Africa is well known for its many reserves. The oldest nature reserve in the country (and oldest conservation area in the world) is the Groenkloof Nature Reserve that was established in 1892 in the capital city Pretoria in the old South African Republic and current Republic of South Africa. The country has many national parks but the best-known is the Kruger National Park, which was (proclaimed in 1898), and is the largest, at nearly 2,000,000 hectares (20,000 km2). The Kruger Park and Table Mountain National Park are two of South Africa's most visited tourist attractions. South Africa also has a number of World Heritage Sites and provincial nature reserves including Shamwari, Londolozi, Sanbona and Lalibela. The country currently has 20 national parks covering 3,700,000 hectares (37,000 km2), about 3% of the total area of South Africa.
There are 4 biosphere reserves (two of them are dated 1927 and 1874) and 17 nature reserves in Ukraine, covering 160,000 hectares. Ukraine administers 40 national parks, 2632 habitat management areas, 3025 nature monuments, and 1430 other preservations.
In the United States the United States Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for managing many nature reserves, including National Wildlife Refuges. 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' Dr. Richard Louis Miller donated 1,800 acres (7.3 km2) of land in this manner and is an example of this type of private nature reserve.
חוק גנים לאומיים ושמורות טבע תשכ"ג – 1963. 'שמורת טבע' – שטח שבו נשמרים חי, צומח, קרקע, מערות או מים, שיש בהם ענין של מדע או של חנוך, מפני שינויים בלתי רצויים במראם, בהרכבם הביאולוגי או במהלך התפתחותם, וששר הפנים, לפי הצעת שר החקלאות או לאחר התיעצות אתו, הכריז עליו ברשומות שהוא שמורת טבע.
Avonmouth is a port and outer suburb of Bristol, England facing two rivers: the reinforced north bank of the final stage of the Avon which rises at sources in Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset; and the eastern shore of the Severn Estuary. Strategically the area has been and remains an important part of the region's maritime economy particularly for larger vessels for the unloading and exporting of heavier goods as well as in industry including warehousing, light industry, electrical power and sanitation. The area contains a junction of and is connected to the south by the M5 motorway and other roads, railway tracks and paths to the north, south-east and east.
The council ward of Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston is as drawn a simplified name as it includes Shirehampton and the western end of Lawrence Weston.Barren Grounds Nature Reserve
The Barren Grounds Nature Reserve is a protected nature park located in the Southern Highlands region of New South Wales, Australia. The 2,024-hectare (5,000-acre) reserve is situated east of Budderoo National Park, and west of the city of Kiama. The reserve can also be accessed from the south, via a local road and a bush walk from the town of Berry. It is not far from the Nameless Sylvan Reserve owned by Bush Heritage Australia.
The nature reserve has several good lookouts that offer fine views of the coast. Interesting rock formations can be seen at Drawing Room Rocks, a geological feature in the southern part of the reserve. The former Barren Grounds Bird Observatory is located in the park.Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve
Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve is a 134-acre (0.5 km2) protected area for flora, fauna, and wildlife in Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania, a Pittsburgh suburb. The site has served as the headquarters of the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania (ASWP) since 1977.
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy owns the land on which Beechwood Farms is located, and leases the site to the Audubon Society of Western PA. The nature reserve comprises woodlands, fields, streams, and a pond. It also features more than 5 miles (8.0 km) of walking trails—open from dawn to dusk every day year-round, some of which are accessible for individuals with special needs.Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is a small 1.64 square kilometre (400 acre) nature reserve near the geographic centre of the city-state of Singapore, located on the slopes of Bukit Timah Hill, Singapore's highest hill standing at a height of 163.63 metres, and parts of the surrounding area. The nature reserve is about 12 kilometres from the Downtown Core, Singapore's central business district.
Together with the neighbouring Central Catchment Nature Reserve, it houses over 840 species of flowering plants and over 500 species of fauna. Today, it is one of the largest patches of primary rainforest left in Singapore.
The forest reserve was formally declared as an ASEAN Heritage Park on 18 October 2011.Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope (Afrikaans: Kaap die Goeie Hoop [ˌkɑːp di ˌχujə ˈɦʊəp], Dutch: Kaap de Goede Hoop [ˌkaːb də ˌɣudə ˈɦoːp] (listen), Portuguese: Cabo da Boa Esperança [ˈkaβu ðɐ ˈβoɐ ʃpɨˈɾɐ̃sɐ]) is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula in South Africa.
A common misconception is that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa. This misconception was based on the misbelief that the Cape was the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Contemporary geographic knowledge instead states the southernmost point of Africa is Cape Agulhas about 150 kilometres (90 mi) to the east-southeast. The currents of the two oceans meet at the point where the warm-water Agulhas current meets the cold-water Benguela current and turns back on itself. That oceanic meeting point fluctuates between Cape Agulhas and Cape Point (about 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) east of the Cape of Good Hope).
When following the western side of the African coastline from the equator, however, the Cape of Good Hope marks the point where a ship begins to travel more eastward than southward. Thus, the first modern rounding of the cape in 1488 by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias was a milestone in the attempts by the Portuguese to establish direct trade relations with the Far East (although Herodotus mentioned a claim that the Phoenicians had done so far earlier). Dias called the cape Cabo das Tormentas ("Cape of Storms"; Dutch: Stormkaap), which was the original name of the "Cape of Good Hope".As one of the great capes of the South Atlantic Ocean, the Cape of Good Hope has long been of special significance to sailors, many of whom refer to it simply as "the Cape". It is a waypoint on the Cape Route and the clipper route followed by clipper ships to the Far East and Australia, and still followed by several offshore yacht races.
The term Cape of Good Hope is also used in three other ways:
It is a section of the Table Mountain National Park, within which the cape of the same name, as well as Cape Point, falls. Prior to its incorporation into the national park, this section constituted the Cape Point Nature Reserve.
It was the name of the early Cape Colony established by the Dutch in 1652, on the Cape Peninsula.
Just before the Union of South Africa was formed, the term referred to the entire region that in 1910 was to become the Cape of Good Hope Province (usually shortened to the Cape Province).Great Victoria Desert
The Great Victoria Desert, an interim Australian bioregion, is a sparsely populated desert area in Western Australia and South Australia.Green Island (Tasmania)
Green Island is a small island nature reserve with an area of 4.17 ha close to the south-eastern coast of Tasmania, Australia at the entrance to the River Derwent.
It lies in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel.Kattang Nature Reserve
The Kattang Nature Reserve is a protected nature reserve that is located in the Mid North Coast region of New South Wales, on the eastern coast of Australia. The 68-hectare (170-acre) reserve is situated 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from Laurieton, 47 kilometres (29 mi) south of Port Macquarie and 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) east of the Pacific Highway, near Kew.Little Llangothlin Nature Reserve
The Little Llangothlin Nature Reserve is a protected wetland nature reserve that is located on the Northern Tablelands in the New England region of New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The 257-hectare (640-acre) reserve is situated approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north-east of the rural locality of Llangothlin, and some 20 kilometres (12 mi) north-east of Guyra.
The reserve contains the 120-hectare (300-acre) Little Llangothlin Lagoon, part of the smaller Billy Bung Lagoon, and was established in 1979 under the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. In 1996 the reserve was designated a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. It, with the adjacent area of Bagot Road, is also listed on Australia’s Register of the National Estate.Local nature reserve
Local nature reserve (LNR) is a designation for nature reserves in Great Britain. 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 of protected areas comprising national nature reserves, conservation areas (which incorporated suggestions for Sites of Special Scientific Interest), national parks, geological monuments, local nature reserves and local educational nature reserves.
There are now over 1,280 LNRs in England, covering almost 40,000 hectares, which range from windswept coastal headlands and ancient woodlands to former inner city railways and long abandoned landfill sites.Metropolitan Borough of Bury
The Metropolitan Borough of Bury is a metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester in North West England, just north of Manchester, which consists of six towns: Bury, Ramsbottom, Tottington, Radcliffe, Whitefield and Prestwich. Bury bounds the Lancashire districts of Rossendale and Blackburn with Darwen to the north.
The Metropolitan Borough of Bury, which covers 24,511 acres (99 km2) and has a population of 181,900, was created on 1 April 1974, with the transfer of functions from the county borough of Bury and the boroughs of Prestwich and Radcliffe, along with the urban districts of Tottington and Whitefield, and part of the urban district of Ramsbottom, all previously in Lancashire.Nahal Me'arot Nature Reserve
The Caves of Nahal Me’arot / Wadi el-Mughara ("Caves Creek"), named here by the Hebrew and Arabic name of the valley where they are located, are a UNESCO Site of Human Evolution in the Carmel mountain range near Haifa in northern Israel.The four UNESCO-listed caves are:
Tabun Cave or Tanur Cave (lit.: "Oven")
Gamal Cave or el-Jamal ("Camel")
el-Wad Cave or Nahal Cave ("Stream")
Es-Skhul Cave or Gedi Cave ("Kid")The four caves were proclaimed a site of "outstanding universal value" by UNESCO in 2012. They are protected within a nature reserve.The caves were used for habitation by hominins and prehistoric humans and contain unique evidence of very early burials, at the archaeological site of el-Wad Cave in the Nahal Me'arot Nature Reserve.National nature reserve
Nature reserves deemed to be of national importance, or controlled by a national-level body may be known as national nature reserves.National nature reserve (United Kingdom)
Some statutory nature reserves are designated by national bodies in the United Kingdom, and are known as national nature reserves.Protected areas of New South Wales
The Protected areas of New South Wales include both terrestrial and marine protected areas. At 30 June 2010 there were 776 separate terrestrial protected areas with a total land area of 6,641,256 hectares (16,410,900 acres) (8.29% of the state’s area). 189 of these are national parks, totalling 5,045,422 hectares (12,467,510 acres). At the same time there were 18 aquatic protected areas with a total area of 347,087 hectares (857,670 acres).Protected areas of South Africa
The protected areas of South Africa include national parks and marine protected areas managed by the national government, public nature reserves managed by provincial and local governments, and private nature reserves managed by private landowners. Most protected areas are intended for the conservation of flora and fauna. National parks are maintained by South African National Parks (SANParks). A number of national parks have been incorporated in transfrontier conservation areas.
Protected areas may also be protected for their value and importance as historical, cultural heritage or scientific sites. More information on these can be found in the list of heritage sites in South Africa.Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve
Rainham Marshes is an RSPB nature reserve to the east of London, adjacent to the Thames Estuary in Purfleet, Thurrock and the London Borough of Havering. In 2000, the area of land was bought from the Ministry of Defence, who used it as a test firing range. With no activity for several years, the nature reserve was officially opened to the public in 2006. It has maintained much of its Medieval landscape, and is the largest area of wetland on the upper parts of the Thames Estuary.
The reserve is home to a diverse range of bird species, wetland plants and insects. It also has one of the most dense water vole populations in the country. In December 2005, the site was visited by a sociable lapwing; over 1,700 people visited the reserve to see this bird. Late in the bird's stay, four penduline tits were also found at the site. Entrance to the site is free to residents of Thurrock and the London Borough of Havering.The site is home to an environmentally friendly visitor centre which features solar panels, rainwater harvesting, natural light and ventilation and a ground heat exchange system. This visitor centre, completed in 2006 at a cost £2 million, was designed by van Heyningen and Haward Architects The building won six awards for its BREEAM sustainable design, including a Green Apple Award, Regeneration and Renewal Award and a Royal Institute of British Architects National Award.The site is part (77% according to a BBC article) of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) called Inner Thames Marshes, and the part which is in the London Borough of Havering has been designated by the council as a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation called Wennington, Aveley and Rainham Marshes. The area west of a drain running south from Brookway is a Local Nature Reserve (LNR), as well as being part of the SSSI. South of the A13 road the LNR is part of the RSPB reserve, while the northern part is managed by Havering Council.Ruislip Woods
Ruislip Woods is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and national nature reserve covering 726 acres (294 ha) in Ruislip in the London Borough of Hillingdon. The woods became the first national nature reserve in an urban area of England in May 1997, receiving the Green Flag Award in 2006. Ruislip Local Nature Reserve at TQ 090 899 is part of the national nature reserve.Evidence of Bronze Age settlements has been found within the woods during archaeological excavations. Timber from the woods has been used in the building of several nationally significant buildings, as well as locally; the Great Barn at Manor Farm was built from oak from the woods.Ownership of the woods passed with the manor from Ernulf de Hesdin to Bec Abbey and on to King's College, Cambridge over the years, until Park Wood was sold to the local authority. The remaining woods were purchased from other owners and Ruislip Woods was formed.The Glen Nature Reserve
The Glen Nature Reserve is a protected nature reserve in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The 2,750-hectare (6,800-acre) reserve that was gazetted in January 1999, is situated approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) south-east of Gloucester, off Bucketts Way.
Designations for types of administrative territorial entities
1 Used by ten or more countries or having derived terms. Historical derivations in italics.