Across the world, there are a wide variety of different types of protected areas with different levels of protection. We're delighted to report that ZSL's flagship site in Nepal, Parsa Wildlife Reserve, has now been upgraded to a National Park, an important step in the conservation of species like the Bengal tiger.
Protected Areas (PAs) are the cornerstone of global conservation efforts. From Mongolia’s Bogd Khan Mountain, arguably the world’s first large scale PA; to New Zealand’s Whanganui River, the first natural feature to be made a legal person; or the famous Yellowstone National Park, the first modern PA, they are a proven means of conserving the natural world in all its forms and the human values it underpins.
But not all PAs are equal. Across the world there are a wide variety of different types affording different levels of protection.
Many countries have their own hierarchy and the IUCN ranks PAs globally according to their level of protection. At the extremes, very ineffective PAs are often known as ‘paper parks’ as they exist only ‘on paper’ and achieve nothing in reality. Very effective PAs, however, can sustain large self-regulating ecosystems and populations of ‘megafauna’, such as elephants.
The Government of Nepal recently upgraded Parsa Wildlife Reserve, a globally significant Bengal tiger area and site of substantial long-term ZSL investment, to become Parsa National Park.
This is an enormously significant step in its effective conservation, in particular for its megafauna, including the thriving tiger population. The increased protection and profile of Parsa will support populations of key species to keep growing and allow the ecological health of its forests to be restored and maintained. This is recognised by the uplifting of Parsa from IUCN PA category IV to category II.
This decision to upgrade the site was made on the basis of substantial successes. Growing populations of priority species such as gaur, sambar and tiger were critical. Parsa’s management authority reported the doubling of the Parsa tiger population last year, following many years of dedicated work towards this.
Improved infrastructure was also a key element in the decision, following DNPWC, ZSL and other partners’ substantial investments in improving the park infrastructure, from patrol roads to watch towers, and even tourism infrastructure helping to build conservation support from local communities.
Finally, the eastward expansion of Parsa in 2015, strongly supported by ZSL, played a crucial role in elevating the status and conservation potential of Parsa and so leading to this substantial increase in protection.
Select a blog
Every month one of the pieces held in ZSL’s Library and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will feature here as Artefact of the month.
Get the latest on ZSL's conservation work in Asia.
Find out more about life in our B.U.G.S exhibit
A new Open Access journal for research at the interface of remote sensing, ecology and conservation.
See the latest ranges, updates and special offers from our exciting new online shop.
Excerpts from ZSL's award winning members' magazine.
A blog for lovers of ZSL London Zoo. Bringing you amazing animal facts and exclusive access to the world's scientific oldest zoo.
Discover more about the UK's biggest zoo with our fun blog posts!
Join the ZSL Discovery and Learning team as they venture out of the zoo and in to the wild.
Catch up on our latest Conservation Blogs
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's elephant keepers give an insight into the daily goings on in the elephant barn.
Read about conservation of tigers in Asia.
One man is boldly going where no other ZSL videographer has gone before - the land of Mountain Chicken Frogs.
From the field, to the lab, catch up with the scientists on the cutting edge of conservation biology at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology.
The Wildlife Wood Project has been working in Cameroon since 2007 to encourage better wildlife management in logging concessions.
Updates from penguin conservation expeditions to Antarctica
Amur leopard conservation blog
Meet ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's latest (and leggiest) arrival, a baby giraffe!
Follow the ZSL Biodiversity and Palm Oil team, based in Bogor, Indonesia.
The Chagos marine reserve, designated in 2010 and currently the world’s largest no take marine reserve, is a sought-after spot for marine research.
Follow ZSL conservationists studying desert baboons in Namibia.