Brazil designates six remarkable new Ramsar Sites

Brazil designates six remarkable new Ramsar Sites

24 July 2017
Brazil

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Viruá National Park

Brazil has declared six new Sites as Wetlands of International Importance, which together cover over 1.2 million hectares. The Country now boasts a total of 19 Sites with a combined area of 8,466,944 ha. The new Sites host a rich and diverse flora and fauna, including endemic and endangered species. Guaporé, Anavilhanas and Viruá are located in the Amazon basin, and Lund Warming, Taim and Guaraqueçaba in the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest.

With an area of 600,000 ha, Guaporé Biological Reserve (Ramsar Site no. 2297) is one of the largest and most remarkable protected areas in Brazil. It comprises representative samples of forests seasonally flooded by clearwater rivers and flooded grasslands, both wetland types which are very representative of the Brazilian Amazon.

Anavilhanas National Park (Site no. 2296) covers over 350,000 ha in the state of Amazonas on the lower course of the Rio Negro (“Black River”) within the tropical rainforest of the Amazon basin. On the islands of the vast Anavilhanas archipelago in the Rio Negro, 48 species of birds have been recorded, as well as the margay (Leopardus wiedii) a small cat, and the Amazonian manatee (Trichechus inunguis), the largest South American freshwater herbivore, which is endemic to the Amazon basin.

Viruá National Park (Site no. 2295) in the megadiverse “Campinaranas” ecological region presents exceptional levels of biodiversity, especially of fish with 500 species recorded, and birds with over 530 species recorded of which 28 are endemic. It also hosts populations of species such as the endangered giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) and the near-threatened jaguar (Panthera onca).

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Guaraqueçaba Ecological Station

Lund Warming (Site no. 2306) is in central-southern Minas Gerais at the intersection between two biodiversity hotspots, the Cerrado (Brazilian savannah) and the Mata Atlântica (Atlantic Forest). It presents multiple surface water catchments that seasonally flood, forming a system of temporary lakes which confer to the Site its high biodiversity value and scenic beauty.

Taim Ecological Station (Site no. 2298) is a conservation area of worldwide importance, preserving wetlands and lagoons, fields, dunes and forests, and sheltering a great diversity of plant and animal species in the Atlantic Forest. Its notable birdlife includes species which migrate from the northern hemisphere, migrants from the continent’s Southern Cone, and others that live here all year round.

Guaraqueçaba Ecological Station (Site no. 2305) in the coastal area of Paraná State is part of the Atlantic Forest South-East Reserves declared as World Heritage by UNESCO since 1999. The Biological Station contains the most important natural and significant habitats for biodiversity conservation in-situ in the region, and has a large diversity of endemic, migratory and endangered species such as the Green turtle (Chelonia mydas), and the Franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei).