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Where are there forest reserves in Switzerland? (FOEN)

Forest reserves are designated for the long-term protection of ecological and biological diversity in the forest. They enable the completely natural development of the forest ecosystem from both a spatial and temporal perspective. They also facilitate the conservation of special habitats for particular species that require targeted support.

Reserve perimeters can also include areas of non-forest. The authority for the establishment of forest reserves lies with the canton. They deliver data of their reserves in order to compile a national statistic. Additionally, some cantons also deliver data on forests protected through ordinance or decree (e.g. cantonal swamp forests, forests in natural parks), which are also shown.

Swiss forestry distinguishes two categories:

  • In natural forest reserves, there is no forestry intervention at all, so that the forest can develop naturally again.
  • In special forest reserves, targeted intervention is made to promote endangered species. These include, above all, species that require a lot of light and warmth.

At the end of 2018, around 84,000 hectares or 6.3% of Switzerland's forest area were designated as forest reserves. By 2030, this figure is expected to rise to 10%.

Link to the map:

More informationen in German: Waldreservate (