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10 Countries With Most Natural Heritage Sites

A site is referred to as a World Heritage Site when it is listed by the United Nations UNESCO organization as a special cultural or physical significance. As of 2015, there are 1031 heritage sites: 802 are cultural, 197 are natural and 32 are mixed properties. The following is a list of the countries that have the most natural heritage sites. Click here for a list of countries with most cultural heritage sites, or here for a list of the world’s most amazing natural heritage sites

1. United States – 13 natural heritage sites – The 4th largest country in the world has the most natural world heritage sites, two of which are divided between the United States and Canada. Some of the most famous of these 13 natural world heritage sites are the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite national parks

Yellowstone national park - one of the United States' 13 natural world heritage sites

Yellowstone national park – one of the United States’ 13 natural world heritage sites

 

2. Australia – 12 natural heritage sites – The continent and country of Australia is home to 12 natural world heritage sites, the most famous is without a doubt the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s most amazing World Heritage Sites

The Great Barrier Reef, one of Australia's 12 world heritage sites

The Great Barrier Reef, one of Australia’s 12 world heritage sites (source: Toby Hudson)

 

3. Russia – 10 natural heritage sites – There are 10 natural world heritage sites that reside in the huge country of Russia, one of which is Lake Baikal – the world’s deepest lake and the world’s 7th largest lake

Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia - the world's deepest lake and a world heritage site

Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia – the world’s deepest lake and a world heritage site (source: wiki)

4-5. Canada – 9 natural heritage sites – Canada has 9 natural world heritage sites, 2 of which are divided with the United States. Some of Canada’s heritage sites are the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, Nahanni National Park, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Wood Buffalo National Park, Joggins Fossil Cliffs and Miguasha National Park

 Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park, part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks heritage site

Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park, part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks heritage site (source: China Crisis)

 

4-5. China – 9 natural heritage sites – China also has 9 natural heritage sites including the Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area, Chengjiang Fossil Site, and the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas

The Yangzi River in the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan heritage sites

The Yangzi River in the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan heritage sites (source: Peter Morgan)

 

6. Brazil – 7 natural heritage sites – Brazil has 7 natural heritage sites including the Iguaçu National Park (shared with Argentina) and the Central Amazon Conservation Complex

The Iguazu (Iguaçu) Falls - a natural world heritage site in both Brazil and Argentina

The Iguazu (Iguaçu) Falls – a natural world heritage site in both Brazil and Argentina

 

7. India – 6 natural heritage sites – India has 6 natural heritage sites, the most famous of which is the Great Himalayan National Park

The Himalayas seen from Kullu Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India

The Himalayas seen from Kullu Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India (source: Dainis Matisons)

 

8-9. Congo (DR) – 5 natural heritage sites – Including the Garamba National Park, Kahuzi-Biega National Park and the Okapi Wildlife Reserve

The Okapi Wildlife Reserve, Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Okapi Wildlife Reserve, Democratic Republic of the Congo

 

8-9. Mexico – 5 natural heritage sites – Mexico also has 5 natural world heritage sites, including the Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino, the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, and the Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California

Overwhelming numbers of Monarch butterflies on a tree, Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, Mexico

Overwhelming numbers of Monarch butterflies on a tree, Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, Mexico (source: Luis Avalos)

10-14. Argentina – 4 natural heritage sites – There are 5 countries that each has 4 natural world heritage sites. The sites in Argentina are the Los Glaciares National Park (home to the famous Perito Moreno glacier), Iguazú National Park (shared with Brazil), Península Valdés, and Ischigualasto / Talampaya Natural Parks

Perito Moreno Glacier, Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina

Perito Moreno Glacier, Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina

 

10-14. Indonesia – 4 natural heritage sites – The 4 sites are: Komodo National Park, Ujung Kulon National Park, Lorentz National Park and the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra

Komodo dragon at Komodo National Park, Indonesia

Komodo dragon at Komodo National Park, Indonesia (source: Adhi Rachdian / wiki)

 

10-14. Italy – 4 natural heritage sites – Italy has the largest number of cultural heritage sites in the world, but it has only 4 natural heritage sites. The 4 are the Amalfi Coast, the Aeolian Islands, Monte San Giorgio and the Dolomites mountain range

The Amalfi Coast world heritage site, Italy

The Amalfi Coast world heritage site, Italy (source: Gilbert Bochenek)

 

10-14. Japan – 4 natural heritage sites – Yakushima, Shirakami-Sanchi, Shiretoko, Ogasawara Islands

Shirakami-Sanchi world heritage site

Shirakami-Sanchi world heritage site (source: Tamaki Seto)

 

10-14. United Kingdom – 4 natural heritage sites – The 4 natural sites of the United Kingdom are: Dorset and East Devon Coast, Gough and Inaccessible Islands, Henderson Island and St Kilda

The famous Durdle Door,   Dorset and East Devon Coast heritage site, England

The famous Durdle Door,  Dorset and East Devon Coast heritage site, England (source: W. Lloyd MacKenzie)

         

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