Aparados da Serra National Park
One of Brazil’s first national parks, Aparados da Serra National Park was established in 1959 to protect the grassland, forest, and cliff vegetation refuge ecosystems, and the impressive scenery located within the national park. One of the Aparados da Serra National Park’s main attraction is the famous Itaimbezinho Canyon.
Located in the Serra Geral range of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina states in southern Brazil the Aparados da Serra National Park is over 25,000 acres. According to the Duke University’s Center for Tropical Conservation, this national park is too small to be effective for the conservation of top food chain predators such as the mountain lion (Puma concolor) or the crowned eagle (Harpyhaliaetus coronatus), that need large hunting areas to survive, and is insufficient for the protection of each of the national park’s distinct environment.
The Aparados da Serra National Park is located in the temperate zone, with mild temperatures and well-defined seasons, including several frosts and at least one day of snow in the plateau region each year. Rainfall is abundant and well distributed throughout the year, ranging from 60 – 90 inches a year, with slightly greater rain on the plateau than on the plains.
Despite the relatively small size of this park, the Aparados da Serra National Park has over 140 species of birds, nearly 50 species of mammals, and almost 40 species of amphibian. This rich biodiversity is a result of the Aparados da Serra National Park’s diverse relief and its location at the region of ecological convergence of Atlantic Rain Forest, grassland and Araucaria forest habitats. The Aparados da Serra National Park has a nice selection of bromeliads and orchids. Some notable wildlife species found in this national park, include the mountain lion, ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), neotropical river otter (Lontra longicaudis), brown howling monkey (Alouatta guariba), capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), dusky-legged guan (Penelope obscura), and spotted nothuras (Nothura maculosa), green-billed toucan (Ramphastos dicolorus), purple-bellied parrot (Triclaria malachitacea), crowned eagle and the Red-spectacled Amazon parrot (Amazona pretrei).