A wilderness is a remote place in nature. Far and wide, you will hardly find any people there. You can only find a few campers or hikers. Hardly anyone lives there permanently.

It is usually also difficult to get to a wilderness because the terrain is often impassable and there are no real paths leading there. The opposite of wilderness is civilisation: by this we mean places where there is agriculture, towns, major roads and so on.

Nature in a wilderness has not yet been influenced by humans in the same way as in civilisation. It is also said that nature there is still "untouched". In the wilderness you find animal species that no longer exist elsewhere. Some of these animals, such as the Siberian tiger, depend on the undisturbed life in the wilderness. They could not survive in civilisation.

Because more and more wilderness is disappearing, many of these animals are threatened. Some animals have even become extinct in certain places. The disappearance of wilderness also has an impact on climate change. If there are fewer trees, they can also absorb less carbon dioxide.

In many countries, wilderness areas are protected by the state. Nature is supposed to remain as it is. This is called a nature reserve or a national park. In the USA, the term "state wilderness" is also used for a national park.

Today, wilderness is found mainly in North and South America, Asia, Oceania and Africa. In Europe, it is still found mostly in small parts of the Alps or in the far north, for example in Norway or on Iceland. Otherwise, Europe is rather densely populated. So you are never really far from the next village or transport route. This is partly because Europe has been industrialised for longer than other continents and is quite small in relation to its population.

It is not clear what exactly a wilderness is. An uninhabited natural area has to be quite large to be called wilderness. Exactly how large is determined by the state in which the area is located.

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