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The United Nations said on Tuesday that the number of protected areas on the planet had surpassed 100,000 and that a big chunk of the Amazonian rainforest and Arctic tundra were now safeguarded.
The reasons for protecting sites included their value in researching particular ecosystems, their unique wildlife, their status as national monuments and their natural beauty.
The number and size of the protected areas on the list has grown more than tenfold since it was first produced in 1962, with 102,102 sites covering an area of 18.8 million square kilometers (7.26 million square miles) now cataloged.
Europe was the region with the most protected areas, with 43,000, but Central and South America had the highest percentage of land under protection, at more than 25 percent each.