Serra Geral is the principal mountain relief of interior southern Brazil. It is located at the southern and eastern reaches of the Paraná Plateau and constitutes the southern portion of the Serra do Mar system. The range is home to the Serra Geral National Park.
Serra Geral is an escarpment that is the principal mountain relief of interior southern Brazil. It is located at the southern and eastern reaches of the Paraná Plateau and constitutes the southern portion of the Serra do Mar mountain system. The range is home to several national and state parks.
The Serra Geral range stretches east-west, parallel to the Atlantic coast, across northern Rio Grande do Sul state to the great escarpment in Santa Catarina state, separating a narrow coastal plain from an interior plateau. It then turns and runs north-northwestward through central Paraná state and into São Paulo state, where it is known as Serra de Botucatu.
The coastal plain hosts many short rivers, lagoons and bays and lies within the humid tropical Serra do Mar coastal forests ecoregion.
The plateau to the west of the range is drained by tributaries of the Uruguay River, including the Pelotas and Canoas, as well as the Jacuí River and its tributaries which drain south into the Lagoa dos Patos of Rio Grande do Sul. The plateau is home to the subtropical Araucaria moist forests.
Serra Geral National Park
Serra Geral National Park, created in 1982 to protect the Malacara, Churriado and Fortaleza canyons, covers 17,302 ha (42,750 acres) in the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. It is made up of two separate sections adjacent to Aparados da Serra National Park.
The park includes a portion of the southeast of the plateau region as well as the escarpment between the plateau and the coastal plain. Altitudes range from 100 to 1,112 m (328 to 3,648 ft) above sea level.
Serra Geral National Park is located entirely in the Atlantic Forest biome, within the Araucaria Moist Forests ecoregion. It shelters three vegetation groups: coastal forests of Atlantic influence (Atlantic Forest), Araucaria forests and Grassland formations.
Vegetation includes dry meadows, peat fields, cloud forest, mixed rain forest, dense submontane and montane rain forest and lowland rain forest. Average annual rainfall is 1,800 mm (71 in). Temperatures range from 0 to 36 °C (32 to 97 °F) with an average of 18 °C (64 °F).
There are a wide variety of endemic species of flora in the park. Endemic fauna includes Elachistocleis erythrogaster, Melanophryniscus cambaraensis, Thoropa saxatilis, black-and-white monjita (Xolmis dominicanus), Xanthopsar flavus, Scytalopus iraiensis, Limnornis rectirostris and Amazona pretrei.
Protected species in the park include cougar (Puma concolor), oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus), margay (Leopardus wiedii), vinaceous-breasted amazon (Amazona vinacea), red-spectacled amazon (Amazona pretrei), Chaco eagle (Buteogallus coronatus), the toad Melanophryniscus macrogranulosus and the fish Mimagoniates rheocharis.