Protected areas or conservation areas are locations with special protection. They are protected because of their recognized natural, ecological or cultural importance. Areas are usually protected by law. The law can be local, from the country of the protected area, or even internationally.
Protected areas are important for biodiversity. They often provide an area safe from hunting or changes to the environment. This provides a safe habitat for threatened and endangered species. They are also important to protect naturally formed areas, like the Grand Canyon, from damage by humans.
There are many types of protected areas. One type is a marine protected area. A marine protected area is for seas, oceans, estuaries or large lakes.
Northeast Greenland National Park is an example of a protected area. The park protects a large variety of animals, such as musk oxen, walrus, and King Eider. Another example of a protected area is the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. This area is protected because it is an important archaeological site.