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Top 10 largest protected areas in the world

03-23-2012 14:38 BJT

A protected area is a designated location that has been preserved for its ecological, natural and/or cultural values. Governments work with conservationists to ensure that these areas continue to function naturally, with minimal (if any) human management. The preservation of many protected areas has stopped or slowed the extinction rate of several species. Currently, there are over 160,000 protected areas in the world that cover 10 to 15 percent of the world's surface area (both land and sea).

Listed below are the ten largest protected areas in the world.

NO.10 Northeast Greenland National Park

Northeast Greenland National Park

Size: 927,000 sq. km.

Encompassing the entire northeastern portion of Greenland, this is the largest national park in the world. It is larger than 163 countries (there are roughly 194 countries in the world). The land is inhabited by polar bears, walrus, arctic fox, snowy owl and musk oxen, among many other species. Northeast Greenland is the most northerly national park in the world.

NO. 9 Chagos Marine Protected Area

Chagos Marine Protected Area

Size: 545,000 sq. km.

Part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, the Chagos Marine Protected Area is the largest marine reserve in the world. Larger than the country of France, this marine reserve is located 500 kilometers south of Maldives. The seven atolls of Chagos are a wonder to see and are rich in biodiversity.

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