The Atlantic Forest Southeast Reserves are located in the Brazilian states of Paraná and São Paulo. The protected areas that constitute the site contain great biological wealth and represent one of the largest and best-preserved domains of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, and one of the most threatened biomes of the world.
The Atlantic Forest Southeast Reserves, in the states of Paraná and São Paulo, contain some of the best and most extensive examples of Atlantic forest in Brazil. The 25 protected areas that make up the site (some 470,000 ha or 1,161,400 acres in total) display the biological wealth and evolutionary history of the last remaining Atlantic forests.
The region, which has a large number of rare and endemic species, is exceptionally varied. From mountains covered by dense forests, down to wetlands, coastal islands with isolated mountains and dunes, the area comprises a rich natural environment of great scenic beauty.
The site is part of the Serra do Mar domain and extends across the adjacent coastal plain, which includes the estuarine complex of Iguape-Cananéia-Paranaguá. This range of habitats, from the summits of mountain ranges to vast stretches of deserted beaches, guarantees its great diversity. However, it is all of these ecosystems and landscapes that express the uniqueness of the region.
Historically partly isolated, the Atlantic Forest has evolved into a complex biome with a multitude of endemic species, comprising around 70% of the tree species, 85% of the primates and 39% of the mammals. As the most important ecological corridor of the Atlantic Forest, the site represents the best guarantee for the sustainability of the ongoing evolution of the biome and its associated marine and coastal ecosystems.
The flora and fauna are extremely diverse and very rich. The flora is among the most diverse in the world, and in some areas one can encounter over 450 species of trees per hectare. As for mammals, they number 120 species, probably the largest in Brazil. Among the flagship species are the jaguar, ocelot and the bush dog (Speothos venaticus).
The property is rich in primates, some of which are highly endangered, such as the woolly spider monkey (Brachyteles arachnoides), the largest primate in the Americas, and the little "black-faced lion" monkey (Leontopithecus caissara), recorded only in 1990 and endemic to the region.
The avifauna is very diverse with 350 species recorded, including the blue-cheeked Amazon (Amazona brasiliensis), classified vulnerable. The scarlet ibis (Eudocimus ruber), a large bird with bright red plumage, is a local symbol.