Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest Ecoregion (South America)

Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest Ecoregion (South America)

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 18:58
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The Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest or "selva parananese" is an ecoregion of the tropical moist forests biome and the South American Atlantic Forest biome. The ecoregion stretches across the borders of southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay and northeastern Argentina.

Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest

The Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest or "selva parananese" (also known as the Alto Paraná Atlantic forests or Paraná-Paraíba interior forests) is an ecoregion of the tropical moist forests biome and the South American Atlantic Forest biome. The ecoregion stretches across the borders of southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay and northeastern Argentina.

The ecoregion covers portions of the Brazilian states of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul. It stretches into the Argentinian province of Misiones and the Paraguayan departments of Alto Paraná, Amambay, Caaguazu, Caazapa, Canindeyú, Concepción, Guairá, and Itapúa.

The Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest is not only one of the most biologically important ecosystems in the world; it is also one of the most endangered rain forests.

The forest and its inhabitants face many threats. Trees are being felled to make room for agriculture, livestock and roads. As a result, forest cover today is a mere fraction of what it used to be. It is also a lot more fragmented, meaning that wildlife has less space to move around and is in greater danger from hunting and trade.

Given the high levels of local richness and endemism and the extensive loss of natural habitat (over 95 percent in many areas), the probability of species extinctions is high without intensive conservation efforts. Relatively extensive, but generally unprotected blocks of forest remain in the southern portion of the ecoregion, particularly in Argentina and Paraguay.

The Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest houses an impressive variety of species. Some 450 different trees can be found in only one hectare (2.5 acres), for example. The ecoregion hosts animals and plants found nowhere else. Over 90% of all amphibians and 50% of all plants found in the forest are endemic.

The climate of the ecoregion is subtropical, with 1,200 to 1,600 mm (47 to 63 in) of rainfall per year. The winter dry season extends from April to September.