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The term highland or upland is used to denote any mountainous region or elevated mountainous plateau. Generally speaking, upland (or uplands) tends to refer to ranges of hills, typically up to 500-600m. Highland (or highlands) is usually reserved for ranges of low mountains.
Probably the most known highlands in the anglophone world are the Scottish Highlands, the mountainous region north and west of the Highland Boundary Fault. The Highland council area is a local government area in the Scottish Highlands and the largest local government area in Scotland.
Many countries have areas that are officially or unofficially referred to as highlands. Other than Scotland, these include parts Ethiopia, Eritrea, Yemen, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Syria and Nova Scotia (the latter being Latin for 'New Scotland' due to its resemblance to the country).
Synonymous terms used in other countries include high country, used in New Zealand, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and Southern Queensland in Australia, and parts of the United States (notably Western North Carolina), and highveld, used in South Africa.
The highlands in Australia are often above the elevation of 500 meters. These areas often receive snowfalls through winter. Most of the highlands lead up to large alpine or sub-alpine mountainous regions such as the Australian Alps, Snowy Mountains, Great Dividing Range, Northern Tablelands and Blue Mountains. The most mountainous region of Tasmania is the Central Highlands area, which covers most of the central western parts of the state. Many of these areas are highly elevated alpine regions.
A spine of mountains runs the length of the island of New Guinea, forming a populous highlands region.
The highlands of Iceland cover about a quarter of the country and are mostly inhospitable to humans. They are generally referred to as land above 400–500 meters.
Additionally, the mountainous natural region of the Thai highlands is found in Northern Thailand.
- University of California Museum of Paleontology (1995 and later), upland, UCMP Glossary