Landmines and Involuntary parks

One of the most intriguing ideas in conservation is human free habitat, large tracts of land off limits to humans.

Examples of habitat with little human interference exist. Viridian Design founder, Bruce Sterling named these areas Involuntary parks

"They are not representatives of untouched nature, but of *vengeful* nature, of natural processes reasserting themselves in areas of political and technological collapse."
Landmines, by acting as a deterant to humans have created several involuntary parks.

Bibliography and Notes on Documentation


Barrio Frojan, C. R. S., and A. P. Vogler. 1999. Landmine clearance in Angola - its likely effect on biodiversity. Oryx, The International Conservation Journal, 33:95-97


Cardamom Mountains:

"The terrible human conflicts of the past 30 years have protected much of Cambodia's wildlife, with large areas of habitat rendered inaccessible by the presence of the Khmer Rouge and countless land mines. The Cardamoms remain a near pristine wilderness . .."

Also see:

Central America

In the 1980's Sea Turtle nesting beaches were protected from poaching by the presence of landmines. (per. com. with Dr. Jim Butler)


European Wolf Newsletter:

"The Croatian side of the area is covered by several land mine fields which are not entered by people, and represent safe haven for wildlife. In combination with the availability of a sufficient number of unprotected livestock this might have caused the comeback of wolves in the area."


Guantanamo Bay

"Occasionally one of our own goes off, usually when a deer or other wildlife creature steps on them. Each incident is investigated, however. We saw numerous iguana and hutias or "banana rats" as we made our fence line tour."

Falkland/ Malvinas Islands

"Until minefields made Stanley's beaches once more safe safe for nesting, penguins had sought refuge in other islands." (Hodgson, p. 409)


Berlin Wall "Death Strip"

East or West, Home is Best---for the Birds

Viridian Note 00242: German Involuntary Park

The Show So Far blog has a column - observing ruderal ecologies with pictures.

Green Ribbon Lifeline

Korean DMZ

The DMZ Forum is working to establish a peace park between North and South Korea.