The Tallest Waterfall In The São Francisco River, The Casca D'anta, At The Serra Da Canastra National Park In Minas Gerais.

The Atlantic Forest

The Atlantic Forest or Mata Atlântica is extremely rich and complex, with diverse biomes from the vast coastal areas of restinga to the Altitude Forests, extending along Brazil's Atlantic coast; from the northern state of Rio Grande do Norte south to Rio Grande do Sul. It stretches inland to eastern Paraguay and the province of Misiones in northeastern Argentina, and narrowly along the coast into Uruguay. Also included in this hotspot is the offshore archipelago of Fernando de Noronha and several other islands off the Brazilian coast. These forests extend as far as 500 to 600 kilometers (310 - 375 miles) inland and range as high as 2,300 meters (7,500 feet) above sea level. Altitude determines at least three vegetation types in the Atlantic Forest: the lowland forest of the coastal plain or restinga, mountain forests or encosta, and the high-altitude grassland or campo rupestre.

View Of Facão Mountain (Alt. 1.214 M / 4,000 Ft.), With The Atlantic Forest Climbing Its Steep Walls.

The Atlantic Forest, considered today a biodiversity hotspot, is most famous for its enormous variety of plant and animal species. Isolated from other major rainforest blocks in South America, the Atlantic Forest has an extremely diverse and unique mix of vegetation and forest types. It also embodies an enormous network of rivers, and vast amounts of fresh water.

The Atlantic Forest once stretched more than 1.3 million square kilometers (5 million square miles) across the tropical South America. Today, however, it has been reduced to about 10 percent of its original extention. Direct threats to biodiversity include logging, poaching, wildlife trade, urban residential and industrial development, and deforestation driven by agriculture and pastureland expansion.

Waterfall In Aiuruoca, Minas Gerais.

The Atlantic Forest has the largest variety of trees per square kilometer of all rainforests in the world, over 700 different species and sub species altogether, it houses over 20,000 plant species, 40 percent of which are endemic. Over 4,200 species of vertebrates, of which 6,300 species of reptiles have been catalogued, 9,000 species of birds, and more than 4,000 mammal species have been identified, and the number of species of invertebrates surpasses 990,000.

Beginning with sugarcane plantations in the 18th century, and later coffee plantations, this enormous forest has been losing habitat for hundreds of years. Now, with the increased expansion of urban areas throughout its whole extention, the Atlantic Forest is facing severe pressure from the issues tied to urbanization.

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