Large national parks bolster surrounding ecosystems

Two studies show the ways that protected areas improve the natural world outside their borders

Large national parks may boost the biodiversity of the regions that surround them. In new research, scientists used more than 2,000 trail cameras and bird surveys in 10 Southeast Asian countries to assess biodiversity both in and around national parks. They found that bird and mammal diversity was higher in larger parks, as well as in their surrounding areas, compared to smaller parks. “Not all parks are created equal,” said one of the study’s co-authors, Mairin Deith of the University of British Columbia, in a press release. “Considering the UN’s goal of increasing protected area to 30% of the world’s surface, these findings support the creation of fewer larger parks compared to many smaller ones, where it is possible to do so.”

Read more at the University of Montana News page.

Header Image: Mammals like orangutan saw higher biodiversity in larger national parks in Southeast Asia. Credit: University of Montana/Jedediah Brodie