Articles on National parks

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Mountain biking seems harmless but can damage soil and scare wildlife. Pixabay

Trails on trial: which human uses are OK for protected areas?

National parks and nature reserves are vital for conservation, but are also great places for recreation. Balancing the two is tricky, but it can be done if we realise parks are not just playgrounds.
Trees have died in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colo., as climate change has intensified bark beetle infestations and drought. Patrick Gonzalez

Human-caused climate change severely exposes the US national parks

As climate change alters temperature and precipitation patterns across the US, it is having especially severe impacts on national parks. These changes could happen faster than many plants and animals can adapt.
The 2016 Maple fire (photographed in July 2017) reburned young forests that had regenerated after the 1988 Yellowstone fires. More frequent high-severity fires are expected in the future as climate warms, which may change patterns of forest recovery. Monica Turner

Here’s how forests rebounded from Yellowstone’s epic 1988 fires – and why that could be harder in the future

Huge fires roared through Yellowstone National Park in the summer of 1988, scorching one-third of the park. Since then the park has been a valuable lab for studying how forests recover from fires.
Conservation groups are organizing soccer games to help bridge the gaps between park rangers and communities. (Shutterstock)

How soccer games can help protect wildlife

Environmental organizations are using games to engage communities on conservation matters.
The wilderness in Canada’s parks is shrinking due to encroaching business. Pictured here: the Glacier Skywalk in Jasper National Park is cantilevered 280 metres over the Sunwapta Valley floor. (Jack Borno/Wikimedia)

It’s time to press the reset button on Canada’s national parks

Canada's national parks don't need more visitors. They could use more scientists, and better science, to help conserve the country's species.
People transporting gasoline by boat in Indonesia’s Kayan Mentarang National Park. ESCapade/Wikimedia Commons

One-third of the world’s nature reserves are under threat from humans

The world's national parks cover an area bigger than South America. But a new survey finds that one-third of this area is subject to pressure from human developments, potentially putting wildlife at risk.
A red fox listening for prey under the snow in Yellowstone National Park. Noise can affect foxes and other animals that rely on their hearing when they hunt. Neal Herbert/NPS

Human noise pollution is disrupting parks and wild places

A recent study finds that noise from human activities is intruding into many parks and other protected areas. Creating quiet zones and noise corridors can help reduce impacts from noise pollution.
The Trump administration will review the status of The Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, one of the country’s most significant cultural sites. Bureau of Land Management

Trump’s plan to dismantle national monuments comes with steep cultural and ecological costs

Trump wants to scale back national monuments on federal lands in the name of boosting the economy. But this would undo decades of investments to manage our cultural and ecological resources.
Public goods come in many forms, from highways to magnificent mountains. Road sign via www.shutterstock.com

‘Public goods’ made America great and can do so again

The U.S. owes much of its prosperity to investment in public goods like highways, parks and schools. Trump's budget poses a threat to these goods, which have already been on the decline.
The Simien mountains in Ethiopia are one of the world’s most threatened natural heritage sites. Simien mountains image from www.shutterstock.com

More than half the world’s most important natural sites are under threat: it’s time to protect them

You'd hope we wouldn't flatten the pyramids to build a highway. But that's exactly what's happening to the world's natural heritage sites.
Cleared habitat in Niassa Reserve, Mozambique. James Allan

Half the world’s ecosystems at risk from habitat loss, and Australia is one of the worst

Since 1992, an area of land two-thirds the size of Australia has been converted to human use.

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