The 66-square-mile Swiss National Park is a completely unmanaged natural area that was founded in 1914, the first national park in the Alps and a rare undeveloped location in the Swiss German–speaking part of Switzerland—a corner of the world better known for ski resorts than nature reserves. Its ungroomed hiking trails offer opportunities to encounter Alpine wildlife like marmot, ibex, chamois, northern hares, and lizards, not to mention innumerable birds and wildflowers (many of which are sadly endangered and on IUCN’s Red List). Biologists here are doing some of Europe’s most important conservation and research work to help better understand Alpine flora and fauna that have experienced only minimal interaction with humans.

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