Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves, World Heritage Site (Brazil)

Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves, World Heritage Site (Brazil)

Fri, 12/21/2018 - 20:12
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The Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves consist of eight separate protected areas containing remnants of the Atlantic Forest, one of the richest tropical forest regions in the world. These reserves illustrate the evolution of the few remaining areas of Atlantic Forest in northeastern Brazil.

Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves

The Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves are located on Brazil's northeastern Atlantic coast, between the southern coast of the state of Bahia and northern coast of the state of Espírito Santo, extending over a total area of almost 112,000 ha (277,000 acres).

This World Heritage Site contains great biological wealth and illustrates the evolution of the few remaining areas of Atlantic Forest in northeastern Brazil.

The landscape is characterized by coastal tablelands that form sea cliffs as well as by sandy beaches, beach rocks, mangrove swamps, lagoons and coral reefs.

The Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves consist of eight separate protected areas containing representative remnants of the Atlantic Forest (dense rain forest) and a type of coastal shrubland vegetation ("restingas") associated with the Atlantic Forest: three national parks, two federal biological reserves and three special reserves:

  • Descobrimento National Park: is located in the municipality of Prado, Bahia and protects 22,693 ha (56,078 acres) of the Central Atlantic Forest Ecological Corridor. Its objective is to preserve a natural ecosystem of great ecological relevance and scenic beauty as well as to support scientific research, environmental education and interpretation, outdoor recreation and ecotourism.

  • Monte Pascoal National Park: covers parts of the municipalities of Porto Seguro and Prado in the state of Bahia. It protects 22,332 ha (55,180 acres), of which 8,627 ha (21,320 acres) overlaps with the Barra Velha indigenous land. Its objectives are the preserving natural ecosystems of great ecological relevance and scenic beauty as well as to enable scientific research, environmental education, outdoor recreation and ecotourism.

  • Pau Brasil National Park: is located in the municipality of Porto Seguro, Bahia. It protectss 19,027 ha (47,020 acres) that contain a remnant of dense lowland rain forest of the Atlantic Forest biome. Its objective is the preservation of natural ecosystems of great ecological relevance and scenic beauty as well as enabling scientific research, environmental education, outdoor recreation and ecological tourism.

  • Sooretama Biological Reserve: is located in the state of Espírito Santo and covers 27,858 ha (68,840 acres) of Atlantic Forest. Its purpose is to preserve the biota and other natural attributes without human interference. It is administered by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation.

  • Una Biological Reserve: in the Una municipality of Bahia, covers 18,715 ha (46,250 acres). Its purpose is to fully preserve the biota and their natural attributes without direct human interference.

  • Veracruz Station Private Forest Reserve

  • Pau-Brasil Ecological Station (Bahia)

  • Vale Natural Reserve (Linhares)

The Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves represent one of the richest tropical forest regions in the world in terms of biodiversity. It contains around 20% of the world's flora, including 627 species of endangered plants. In some areas more than 450 species of trees over an area equivalent to a football field have been identified.

The Atlantic Forest has ecoregions within the following biome categories: seasonal moist and dry broad-leaf tropical forests, tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands, and mangrove forests. The Atlantic Forest is characterized by a high biodiversity and endemism.

The fauna of the region is represented by 261 species of mammals including 21 marsupials (of which 15% are endemic and 15% threatened), 620 birds (19% at risk), 280 amphibians and 200 reptiles.

In total, 185 species (of which 100 endemic) are threatened with extinction, including 73 species of mammals, of which 21 are primates.

Among the 118 species of endangered birds, 49 are endemic. All 16 species of amphibians that are threatened are endemic. Of the 13 species of reptiles that are threatened, 10 are endemic.