Scientific research records all changes in the Swiss National Park. Long-term research is especially important as it helps us to have a better understanding of the natural processes taking place.
Research is one of the core activities of the National Park, as is clearly stated in Article 1 of the federal law governing the National Park, laid down in 1980:
«The National Park is the object of continual scientific research.»
Research in the National Park has been carried out since as early as1920. A list of all the research projects carried out until now can be found here.
Research within the National Park has the following goals:
- To compile a record of current scientific knowledge
- Long-term observation and modelling, thereby assisting early recognition
- Provide a basis and expertise for management
- Dialogue, communication and education
- Scientific and data management
The following are the main research areas:
- -development of the National Park region in connection with global and climatic change
- influence of disturbances on the long-term development of the eco-system
- ungulates in an alpine habitat
- impact of protected eco-systems and sustainable use of resources for society
- benefits of sustainable development on a regional scale, in connection with the SNP and the Biosphere
- the influence of natural forces on the development of the SNP since its foundation 100 years ago
- Research concept (download, in German)
The Swiss National Park encompasses a particularly impressive piece of Alpine landscape, with a wealth of flora and fauna. Within its boundaries nature is left to develop freely; humans remain in the background and are merely witnesses of the evolution that contributes so greatly to the incomparable character of this habitat.
Oldest National Park in the Alps
Extending over 170 km2, the Swiss National Park is the largest protected area in Switzerland and the country's only National Park. It is designated by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a category 1 nature reserve (highest protection level - strict nature reserve/wilderness area). Founded in 1914, it is the oldest national park in the Alps and central Europe.
Fascinating fauna and flora
The National Park is well known for its extraordinary variety of alpine animals, such as chamois, deer and marmots. A host of alpine plants provide a colourful sight as visitors make their way through the Park. There is a wide choice of paths, with differing degrees of difficulty.