Which Countries In Central And North America Have The Highest Number Of National Parks?

Wildlife in the Jasper National Park of Canada.
Wildlife in the Jasper National Park of Canada.

Central America is located on the southernmost isthmian portion of the continental North America that connects to South America. South America has seven countries and is bordered by Mexico, Colombia, Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. North America is the third largest continent after Asia and Africa and is wholly situated in the Northern Hemisphere while almost all of it is in the Western Hemisphere. The continent is bordered by the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans, the Caribbean Sea and South America. North America is also the fourth most populous continent in the world after Asia, Africa, and Europe.

The Biodiversity Of Central And North America

The biodiversity of Central America is a part the Mesoamerican hotspot, and it extends from the northern region of Guatemala to central Panama accounting for 7% biodiversity in the world. The biodiversity of Central America comprises of The Pacific Flyway which is the chief route for the migrating birds in the Americas. The region has a lot of seismic activities because of the volcanic arc in Central and several geological faults that are active. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur often and have resulted in many deaths and property loss. The biodiversity of North America is characterized by deciduous forests, the coastal plains, flat fertile prairie, highlands, volcanic highlands, and megadiverse ecology.

Why Central And North America Need To Establish Protected Areas?

In Central America, more than 300 species of fauna and flora are unprotected and stand the risk of being endangered while 107 of them are classified as severely endangered. The main threat to the region's biodiversity together with Mexico is deforestation as it is approximated at 1.2% per year. The loss of rainforests has seen conversion of 80% of Central America's vegetation to agriculture contributes to loss of biodiversity thus the need for protected areas.

In North America, the main threats to the biodiversity are logging and deforestation together with air and water pollution which continue to threaten habitats of endangered species.

The Top Three Countries With The Highest Number Of National Parks

Though Mexico has the highest number of national parks, only 0.73% of the country's land area is utilized for national parks and reserves. The US and Belize follow Mexico closely behind as number two and three respectively.


Mexico is number one on the list of countries with the highest number of national parks with a total 67 federally recognized national park. These parks are supervised by the Federal National Commission of Protected Natural Areas (CONANP). The natural parks and reserves of Mexico cover 0.73% of the territory.

The United States

The US is the second with the highest number of national parks in the Central and Northern American region. The 59 national parks in the US are administered by the National Park Service which is under the Interior Department. The primary role of these national parks is for the conservation of the biodiversity.


Belize has a total of 53 national parks which are designed to protect and preserve the natural and aesthetic features that are of national significance for purposes of benefiting and enjoyment of the people. These protected areas of Belize are therefore mainly for recreational, tourism, as well as environmental protection and are administered by the Forest Department and managed through community-based organizations.

Other National Parks In Central And North America

Central and North America have a broad range of biodiversity which includes some of the world's endangered species of flora and fauna. The primary purpose of these protected areas in the region is to preserve the environment. The US together with 11 other countries of the Central and North American region have a total of 334 national parks.

Which Countries In Central And North America Have The Highest Number Of National Parks?

RankCountryNumber of parks
2United States59
6Costa Rica26
9Dominican Republic12

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