Campos Gerais National Park is located in the south-central region of Paraná in southern Brazil. The terrain is rugged, and the area's relief comprises rocks from the Paraná Basin. It includes peculiar shapes of great scenic beauty, notably the Vila Velha sandstones and sinkholes (Furnas).
Campos Gerais National Park
Campos Gerais National Park is located in the south-central region of Paraná in southern Brazil. Created in 2006, the National Park covers an area of approximately 21,300 ha (52,630 acres) within the municipalities of Ponta Grossa, Castro and Carambeí.
The terrain within Campos Gerais National Park is rugged. The region's relief contains escarpments, canyons, faults and cracks, hills, caves, underground drains, and depressions.
The relief comprises rocks from the Paraná Sedimentary Basin. It includes peculiar shapes of great scenic beauty, notably the Vila Velha sandstones and sinkholes (Furnas).
The landscape of Campos Gerais dates to the Pleistocene Epoch (the geological epoch that is regarded as the last Ice Age) when a colder and drier climate favored the emergence of grassland vegetation interspersed with the Araucaria pine forest.
Mesozoic tectonic activity marked the landscape with intrusions of igneous rocks and uplifted the region's eastern portion, resulting in a system of faults and fractures. Over time, these faults and fractures were transformed into canyons of widely varying sizes by the erosive action of rivers.
The Campos Gerais region contains the hydrographic basins (headwaters) of the Ribeira de Iguape River and the Tibagi River, a tributary of the Paranapanema River.
A marked expansion of the Araucaria forest, forming a mosaic of grassland and forest patches on the highlands, occurred only in the last 1,500 years.
The native vegetation, which was generally favorable to grazing, led to the colonization of this landscape by non-indigenous peoples. Logging of Araucaria forests occurred during the last centuries.
The park is located within the Atlantic Forest biome, a biodiversity hotspot and a priority for conservation. Vegetation includes mixed forest along with grassland areas. Ball cactus and Brazilian Edelweiss (Sinningia leucotricha) are endemic.