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Nature parks

Swiss National Park (in new window)

In the Swiss National Park nature is left to develop freely.©

Many endangered species are confined to small areas. It is important to protect their habitats. A number of sites of exceptional importance have been brought under state protection. The Swiss National Park in Canton Graubünden was established in 1914, the first alpine national park and the first in Central Europe.

It is clear that in a country where the land is as intensively used as it is in Switzerland, the demands of the population and of nature conservation have to be reconciled, and that the National Park, where no settlement or farming activity is allowed, has to be the exception rather than the rule.

Switzerland also has a number of regional nature parks where human activities are permitted. The largest, Parc Ela, in Canton Graubünden, opened in June 2006, and covers an area of 600 square kilometers.