More Than
an Idea

What is a National Park?

Unspoilt Nature
Sustainable Protection

The six Austrian National Parks are regarded as internationally recognised protected areas for the most ecologically valuable natural environments in our country. Nature protection and species conservation are a top priority here and ensure a largely undisturbed development of characteristic flora and fauna. In their aspiration to make unspoilt nature tangible, National Parks are also valuable recreation, education and research areas.

(c) Erich Mayrhofer

Was ist ein Nationalpark?

Als international anerkannte Schutzgebiete zählen Nationalparks zu den ökologisch wertvollsten Naturräumen eines Landes. Naturschutz und Arterhalt genießen hier oberste Priorität und sorgen für eine weitgehend ungestörte Entfaltung der charakteristischen Tier- und Pflanzenwelt. Hier darf Natur ganz Natur sein. Denn der Verzicht auf jede wirtschaftliche Nutzung auf mindestens 75 % der Fläche ist Voraussetzung für die Errichtung eines Nationalparks.
In ihrem Anspruch, Unberührtes erfahrbar zu machen, sind Nationalparks außerdem kostbare Erholungs-, Bildungs- und Forschungsräume.

How do National Parks come into being?

National Heritage
International Recognition

The criteria of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) set out the conditions under which a protected area established in the long term by the Federal Government and regional states can be recognised as a National Park (category II). This includes the existence of extensive natural environments with ecosystems that merit long-term protection, largely managing without any interventions and carrying out tasks in the areas of research, education, natural environment management, biodiversity and recreation.

Dividing the National Park area into zones makes it possible to bridge the gaps between nature and species conservation.

Woher stammt die Nationalparkidee?

Historical Mission
Modern Demands

Having popped up in the US in the 19th century, the idea of the national park successfully spread around the globe: the foundation of the Yellowstone National Park in 1872 was followed by the development of other protected areas in Australia (1879), Canada (1885) and New Zealand (1887). Sweden (1909) and Switzerland (1914) secured the leading role in Europe.

The High Tauern National Park was the first Austrian National Park, established in 1981. Five other domestic protected areas have since been included among the 3,800 national parks recognised around the world based on IUCN standards.

Supported by the Federal Government and the European Union.

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