|protect_class = 3|
|Used on these elements|
|Status: de facto|
|Tools for this tag|
Natural Monument (IUCN Category III)
IUCN Category III describes lands that are set aside for the purpose of protecting a specific natural feature that is unique or special in in some way, but is less significant than a national park. These areas are often named after the natural feature being protected. Where available, mappers should consult an applicable national conservation database to determine which lands are designated with this category.
Category III: Protected areas set aside to protect a specific natural monument, which can be a landform, sea mount, submarine cavern, geological feature such as a cave or even a living feature such as an ancient grove. They are generally quite small protected areas and often have high visitor value.— International Union for Conservation of Nature, iucn.org
Examples of IUCN Category III Sites:
- , Georgia
- , United States
- , Colombia
- , Kyrgyzstan
- , Czech Republic
- , Australia
Protected Area Categories
The IUCN has developed the protected area management categories system to define, record, and classify the wide variety of specific aims and concerns when categorising protected areas and their objectives. In addition to publishing conservation category definitions, IUCN also maintains the Green List, a listing of a small number of conservation areas that are certified by the IUCN for their conservation practices.
The IUCN categorisation method is recognised on a global scale by national governments and international bodies such as the and the .
Unfortunately, the IUCN website appears to be copyright-protected, so the list of protected areas cannot be copied into OpenStreetMap.
Sources of IUCN Category Designations
Below is a non-exhaustive list of sources that mappers can consult when determining what which protect_class=* value to assign:
|United States||PD||U.S. Geological Survey, Science Analytics and Synthesis, Gap Analysis Project (GAP): Protected Areas Database of the United States 2.0|
IUCN 75% Rule
Note that the IUCN definitions include the "75% rule", which says that an area may be categorised under one of the IUCN definitions if 75% of the area meets the category definition. This allows for a small amount of non-conservation land to exist within a larger tract, for example, to allow for visitor facilities.
|Human visitation is so strictly controlled that the area is suitable as a reference for scientific study.||protect_class=1a|
|Human visitation is permitted for those prepared for self-reliant travel such as on foot or by boat. The area has no established visitor infrastructure. The area is large enough that a journey to the interior represents a significant undertaking that requires special equipment.||protect_class=1b|
|The area is named a "National Park", or equivalent name in the local language. The area encourages low-impact human visitation and recreation while conserving a special area of national importance.||protect_class=2|
|The area is designated in order to protect a unique or special natural feature. The natural feature is usually part of the name of the protected area. If there is an identifiable natural feature being protected, but is not a National Park, use this value.||protect_class=3|
|The area is designated in order to protect a specific species. The protected area name usually indicates wildlife protection.||protect_class=4|
|Areas which are preserved for conservation, but don't meet any of the criteria for classes 1 to 4 or class 6, should usually be tagged with this class, as a "protected landscape/seascape".||protect_class=5|
|The area is designated in order to protect a natural resource, or some other human use of land including tourism, with a parallel goal of conservation.||protect_class=6|
- Francoise Burhenne-Guilmin (2011). “Guidelines for Protected Areas Legislation”. IUCN. p. 147 .
- Mike J. Jeffries (2006). “Biodiversity and conservation”. . p. 191 .
- IUCN Guidelines for Applying Protected Area Management Categories, Published 2 October 2008