In honor of Wildlife Conservation Day, discover some of the top spots dedicated to keeping critters happy, habitats safe and the planet thriving.
World Wildlife Conservation Day happens every December 4 to shine a light on the mission to protect our planet's amazing creatures and their homes. The goal is to guarantee that future generations can continue to experience the wonders of nature. One group doing some heavy lifting in this conservation effort? Our national parks. These idyllic spots aren't just go-to outdoor destinations for millions of visitors—they are life-saving sanctuaries for our furry, feathery and scaly friends. Discover some of our favorite parks providing havens for flora and fauna to flourish.
Yellowstone National Park, WY
Yellowstone, the world's first national park, isn't just about geysers and hot springs—it’s a pioneer in preserving wildlife. Recognized for successfully reintroducing the gray wolf, which was once on the brink of extinction, Yellowstone showcases the positive impact of well-executed conservation programs.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN/NC
Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, this park is a wildlife hotspot. Boasting more than 20,000 documented species, it establishes itself as a vital refuge for a diverse array of animals. Safeguarded within the park are 65 kinds of mammals, over 200 bird varieties, 67 native fish breeds and a whopping 80 types of reptiles and amphibians.
Everglades National Park, FL
Spanning more than 1.5 million acres, this wetland wonder is the largest tropical wilderness of its kind in the country. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park encompasses a mosaic of sawgrass prairies, mangrove forests and estuarine habitats. Conservation efforts here focus on sustaining the delicate balance needed for alligators, panthers, manatees and countless other species to maintain their well-being.
Yosemite National Park, CA
In California's Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite is known for its towering granite cliffs, cascading waterfalls and lush valleys. Beyond the jaw-dropping scenery, the park’s commitment extends to preserving its pristine wilderness and ensuring the protection and health of its resident black bear population.