Cerrado Protected Areas, Brazil

Introduction

Cerrado Protected Areas (13°53'-14°09'S and 47°25'-47°53'W.) are World Heritage Site is located in Brazil.

Geographical Location

The Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park (CVNP) is located 250 kilometers (km) north of Brasilia and 500 km from Goiâna, in the northeast of Goiás State. Sixty percent of the Park lies in the Calcavante Municipality, the remaining 40% of the property is located in the Alto Paraiso Municipality. The Park is bounded by the Santana Mountains to the west, the Goias State Highway 118 to the east, and to the south by the Goias State Highway 327. Its northern limit is shared between several private ranches. Approximate geographic co-ordinates are 13°53'-14°09'S and 47°25'-47°53'W.

The Emas National Park (ENP) is located 800 km west of Brasilia in the southwest of Goiás State, close to its border with the Mato Grosso do Sul State. The Park is within the Municipality of Mineiros. Approximate geographic co-ordinates are 17°53'-18°20'S and 52°44'-53°06'W.

Date and History of Establishment

 

caption Cerrado, Brazil. (Source: NASA Earth Observatory: News)

 

The Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park (CVNP) was first designated as part of Tocantins National Park by Federal Decree 49,875 of 11 January 1961, which covered an area of approximately 625,000 hectares (ha), but this area was reduced to 171,924 ha by Federal Decree 70,492 of 11 May 1972, which also gave the actual name to the site. The extent of CVNP was further reduced to its current size in 1981 by Federal Decree 86,173 of 2 July. The definitive boundaries of the Park are provided by Federal Decree 86,696 of 17 November 1981. CVNP is one of the two core areas of the Cerrado II Biosphere Reserve, which was established by the Brazilian Committee of Man and Biosphere Programme and was recently approved by UNESCO.

The Emas National Parl (ENP) was created by federal decree 49.874 in 1961 with approximately 100,000 ha, and decree 70.375 of 6 April 1972 established its current extent of 131,868 ha.

Area

CVNP- 65,514 ha; ENP - 131,868 ha.

Land Tenure

Land within CVNP and ENP is owned by the Federal Government.

Altitude

CVNP- 600-1,650 meters (m); ENP 400 - 1,000 m.

Physical Features

 

caption Chapada dos Veadeiros, Brazil. (Source: IBAMA)

 

The Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park is part of the highest plain in Central Brazil, with its highest point being the Serra da Santana, that comprises part of the major system of the Chapada dos Veadeiros. The region is of outstanding beauty, and is made up of wide plateaus over 1,200 m with waterfalls and crystal clear springs. The uplands give way to deep rocky canyons, with walls up to 40 m high, and valleys up to 300 m in length. The main watercourse is the Preto River, which flows on a north-west to south-west direction; the northern extremity of CVNP is drained by the Santana and Bartolomeu rivers. Several other perennial streams, such as Fiandeira, Montes Claros and Moquem drain the western face of the Serra da Santana. All these watercourses flow into the Tocantins River, which is a tributary of the Amazon Basin. Along the course of the Preto River, there are many waterfalls, such as the Rio Preto Falls (120 m high, 80 m at the base) and the Cariocas Falls.

In the region of CVNP and its surroundings, three geomorphological units can be recognized: the Rio Claro Valley Region; the Ridge Region; and the Highlands Region. The Rio Claro Valley Region corresponds to the lowlands, with relatively flat to undulating terrain developed at 400 m over granitic basement rocks. The boundary between this unit and the Ridge Region is evidenced by a 40 km long great scarp with a south-west to north-east general direction, that represents the northern limit of the Park. The Ridge Region is located in the middle-northern portion of the Park, including the Rio Preto, Santana, Capim Branco and all areas of highlands to the south. This unit is related to the bedrock where quartzite is the dominant petrographic type and where the greatest altitudes are observed (1,200 and 1,500 m). In the northern portion the scarps are supported by Araí Group quartzite, while to the south the ridges are related to the basal Paranoá quartzite. The road that links the Alto Paraíso town to the de São Jorge village is situated along a plane region between two highlands associated to the Araí quartzite (towards north) and to the Paranoá quartzite (towards south). The Highlands are distributed along the central portion of the Park and are characterised by a plane relief pattern with some isolated tabular hills that mark the regional landscape, among them the Baleia Hill, Palha Virada Hill, Peito de Moça Hill and the Ferro de Engomar Hill. The CVNP area is important from the geomorphological perspective, because in its limits rare geomorfological units are preserved, and the study of the origin and evolution of these features is useful to the understanding of the geodynamic regional processes. In the region the most elevated point of the middle-west region of Brazil with altitude superior than 1,700 m is found (Boa Vista Ridge, next to the western limit of the CVNP).

The soil of CVNP area is characterized by cambisoils and litholic soils. Hidromorphic soils are observed in the majority of the spring regions. Soils are old, oxidized red, leached of many nutrients, and moderately to highly acidic. Due to high levels of aluminium, iron and hydrogen they are often toxic. CVNP is one of the most luminous points seen from the Earth's orbit, according to NASA. This is due to the quantity of quartz crystals present in the soil, besides several other metals and minerals.

Emas National Park is part of Serra dos Caiapós plateau, which has a maximum altitude of 1,000 m and a minimum of 400 m in the river valleys. It forms the major water divide between the La Plata to the south and the Amazon to the north. The plateau is a gently rolling plain which descends to the Araguaia basin to the north, to the Jacub-Correntes rivers system to the east and to the Taquarí river and Pantanal complex to the west. All the watersheds in ENP drain to the La Plata River Basin complex. The main watercourses inside the National Park are the Jacuba and Formosa Rivers and tributaries, both of which drain into Paranaíba River. ENP is characterised by higher altitude grasslands, palm tree grasslands and gallery forests, divided by sharply carved canyons with wide and high waterfalls and black-water drop pools. The rocks of ENP are predominantly granites with redish litosoils.

Climate

CVNP and ENP have a hot tropical, semi-humid climate with hot and rainy summers and cold and wet winters. The annual mean precipitation varies between 1,500-1,750 millimeters (mm), most of which fall during the summer. The average annual temperature usually lies between 20°C and 27°C, ranging from a minimum of 4/8°C and reaching a maximum of 40 to 42°C. The air humidity ranges from 50 to 80%, with maximum humidity levels occurring during the summer and declining through the winter.

Vegetation

Goiás is the only State of Brazil located entirely within the Cerrado or "wooded savanna", which is a biome largely exclusive to the country, being found elsewhere only as a small enclave in north-eastern Bolivia. CVNP is one of the very few large remaining blocks of relatively intact Cerrado, it also includes six other major vegetation types: Cerradão; gallery forests; mesophytic forests; campos; and veredas. A total of 1,476 species of vascular plants have been recorded from the area, of which 50 are classified as rare or threatened. Part of the botanical collection for the Park still needs identification at the species level.

Typical Cerrado vegetation grows on deep and well-drained soils of Central Brazil, and consists of a highly rich wooded savannah, with trees of up to 3-5 m in height, a coverage of 10-60% and up to 350-400 species of vascular plants per hectare. Felfili et al verified the presence of 186 species of trees distributed between 49 families, with a mean density of 1,035 individuals per hectare. Predominant species include Psidium myrsinoides, Qualea parviflora, Q. grandiflora and Curatella americana, among many others. The Cerradão has a canopy with a height of between 7-15 m (although some trees can reach up to 18-20 m), and a coverage greater than 70%. Trees are perennial, although some species loose their leaves for short periods of time. The habitat has a high species diversity (75 species) and an average density of 1,078 individuals per hectare. Some of the most important species include Callisthene fasciculata, Hirtella glandulosa, Dipteryx alata and Diospyrus hispida. The Cerradão typically occurs interspersed in areas dominated by Cerrado vegetation, particularly in the headwaters of the São Domingo, Fiandeira, Montes Claros, Gameleira, Moquem and Cerrado streams. Gallery forests grow on swampy areas along the main tributaries of the Preto River, and in its valleys and canyons. They are a tall formation with trees reaching up to 20-30 m in height, and a tree coverage of 80-100%, and contain several endemic species. The species diversity is high (145 species) with densities reaching up to 978 individuals per hectare.

CVNP also includes high altitude grasslands lying between the Pouso Alto and Santana mountain ranges. These grasslands are characterized by isolated inselbergs, pioneer gallery forests and swamp tall stands of buriti palm trees Mauritia flexuosa.

ENP is dominated by grasslands, with 68.1% of its area in the formations of campo limpio, campo sujo, and campo cerrado. Cerrados or wooded savannas cover 25.1%, wetlands of the campo umido, murundus and veredas types cover 4.9%, forests occupy 1.24% and the remaining 0.7% are roads and park infrastructure. A floristic survey of ENP in 1998-1999 registered 601 phanerogram species in 303 genera and 80 families. Seven of these are new to science. The best represented families are Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Poaceae, Myrtaceae, and Lamiaceae, that together represent 48% of all species registered in savanna formations. None of the riparian habitats have been surveyed.

Fauna

 

caption Myrmecophaga tridacyla, Brazil. (Source: Smithsonian National Zoological Park)

 

CVNP contains a high faunal diversity with an estimated 70 species of mammals, 306 birds, 53 amphibians and reptiles and 49 fishes. Mammals include giant anteater Myrmecophaga tridactyla (VU), giant armadillo Priodontes maximus (EN), maned wolf Chrysocyon brachiurus (VU), jaguar Panthera onca (VU) and pampas deer Ozotoceros bezoarticus (EN). Two species of pygmy rice-rats Oligoryzomis sp. and a new rice-rat of the Subflavous group were recently discovered. Bird surveys have recorded 306 species, including black-hawk eagle Spizaetus tyrannus, ocellated crake Micropygia schomburgii, greater rhea Rhea americana, Brazilian merganser Mergus octocetaceus (CR) and dwarf tinamu Taoniscus nanus (VU). There is a high diversity of invertebrates, with more than 1,000 species of moths and 160 bees, among many other groups.

The fauna of ENP was surveyed from 1998 to 2000 and 354 bird, 78 mammal, 69 reptile, 21 amphibian and 9 fish species were recorded. Mammals include giant anteater Myrmecophaga tridactyla (VU), maned wolf Chrysocyon brachiurus (VU), bush dog Speothus venaticus (VU), Giant armadillo Priodontes maximus (EN), pampas deer Ozotoceros bezoarticus (EN), Marsh deer Blastocerus dichotomus (VU), jaguar Panthera onca (VU) , Giant rat Kunsia tomentusus (VU), and Pygmy Short-tailed Opossum Monodelphis kunsi (EN). Four new species of small mammal have been discovered in ENP, including an echymid rodent and an opossum. The avifauna of ENP contains many Cerrado grassland specialists and endemic species. Threatened species include lesser nothura Nothura minor (VU), dwarf tinamou Taoniscus nanus (VU), Brazilian merganser Mergus octosetacues (CR), yellow-faced amazon Amazona zanthops (VU), white-winged nightjar Caprimulgus candicans (EN), rufous-sided pygmy-tyrant Euscarthmus rufomarginatus (VU), cineous warbling finch Poospiza cinerea (VU), marsh seedeater Sporophila palustris (EN), and black-masked finch Coryphaspiza melanotis (VU). Of the 69 reptile species registered in ENP 10 are very rare, such as the snake species Philodryas livida, Liophis paucidens, Liophis maryellenae, and the lizard Bachia cacerensis. The number of reptile species is expected to reach 90 species with more extensive sampling. CVNP and ENP together have 84 reptile species, of which 25 are common to both areas

Cultural Heritage

No information provided.

Local Human Population

There are no major urban centers in the proximity of CVNP. The closest areas of population concentration are Alto Paraíso, a small town with a population of approximately 3,000 people and Sao Jorge a small district within the same municipality. Both population centers are located on the southern edge of the Park boundary.

There are no human populations within ENP, although it is surrounded by agricultural land. Two small towns are located about 20 km. to the northwest and the southeast of ENP.

Visitors and Visitor Facilities

Access to CVNP from Brasilia is by the BR-020 until visitors reach the GO-118 State road, from where the road turns north and leads to the villages of São Gabriel and São João D´Aliança, which in turn lead to the town of Alto Paraíso. The eastern limit of the park is within close proximity of the State road (between the towns of Alto Paraíso and Teresina de Goiás). The southern limit of the park follows the State road that links Alto Paraíso de Goiás to Colinas do Sul. The 37 km road from São Jorge to Alto Paraiso is unpaved.

CVNP is one of the 10 most visited National Parks in Brazil. Annual visitor numbers are variable depending on local climatic conditions. In 1995 the park received 11,951 visitors., 8,000 in 1996 and 11,000 in 1997. Visitor facilities include an interpretation center with an auditorium, exhibition room, reading room, office and kitchen facilities. Visitors are not permitted into the park, unless accompanied by a guide. There are over 200 self-employed guides in the Tourist Guides to Chapada dos Veadeiros Association.

ENP can be reached by the GO-302 State road, 26 km from Chapadao do Ceu city and 550 km from Goiania city. Visitors require permission from IBAMA and can be accommodated in the research facilities. Accommodations is also available in Chapadao do Ceu, where guides can be found at the local tourist center, or in farm hotels close to the park.

Scientific Research and Facilities

Relatively little extensive biological research or biological records exist for CVNP. From 1992 to 1999 ten research projects were undertaken.

ENP has a research lodge and 30 years of continuous biological research, primarily through collaboration with regional universities. From 1992 to 1999 twenty-nine research projects were undertaken and survey work is ongoing for revision of the 1981 management plan. This research includes the impact of the ENP Wildlife on agricultural production in the surrounding area, the ecology and conservation of tapirs and anteaters in ENP and surrounding farmland.

Conservation Value

The CVNP is located in the heart of the Cerrado ecoregion, which ranks among the world's richest in biodiversity and compares strongly with the Brazilian Amazon in terms biodiversity value. Less than 10% of the Cerrado biome remains in a natural state and is the Brazilian biome being transformed at the highest rate. Bird species recorded from CVNP represent approximately 43% of all the species that are exclusive to the Cerrado. The value of CVNP is increased by its wide altitude range, which has permitted the survival of rare and relict species during times of past climate change. ENP is the only neotropical protected area where large mammals are easily visible. Its habitats are characteristic of the Cerrado, whilst also being of high value as part of the headwaters of the Cerrado. Both CVNP and ENP support significant populations of species of conservation concern, including all the endangered large mammals of the Cerrado (with the possible exception of the giant otter Pteronuera brasiliensis).

Conservation Management

The management of CVNP and ENP is the responsibility of the Brasilian Institute of the Environment (IBAMA). The 1995 Emergency Action Plan for CVNP marked a major step towards the elaboration of a definitive management plan, which was finally completed in 1998. This plan includes a description of the context of CVNP, its habitats and features, zonification, and activity plans in the areas of research, environmental monitoring, tourism and recreation, environmental education, infrastructure, regional integration, and protection. Park administration is developed in collaboration with two local organizations, the Chapada dos Veaderios Tourist Guide Association (ACVCV), and Chapada dos Veaderios Flower Extractivists Association (ASFLO). WWF supports conservation in the region of the CVNP, including the establishment of other protected areas. Revision of the 1981 management plan for EMP commenced in 2001. Fundação Ecológica de Mineiros (Emas Foundation) was established in 1987 and promotes educational and management programs in ENP and in surrounding areas in collaboration with Conservation International.

Management Constraints

As a result of the 1981 Decree reducing the area of CVNP to its actual size of 65,500 ha containing only pristine lands, the state of conservation of CVNP can be said to be high. Just a few degraded areas remain, and these are essentially limited to abandoned pits from where quartz crystals were manually extracted, and pastures for cattle.

Ranching activities occur close to the boundaries of CVNP, resulting in small numbers of cattle occasionally roaming into the northern and western areas of the Park. The lighting of fires in the grasslands bordering the site boundaries, that often get out of control, can lead to significant although relatively short-term impacts. Mining for quartz crystals, amethyst and gold occurs in several locations close to the Park's boundaries. Peripheral streams may be affected by pollution from these activities. Increasing use and the paving of several roads that are located close to the park are a concern with respect to the potential displacement of invasive exotic species and isolation from adjacent Cerrado habitats.

A major threat to ENP is fire during the four month dry season. Up to 1994 a major fire ravaged ENP on average once every three years, with 97% of the Park burnt in 1994 and some large mammal populations taking four or more years to recover. Fire brigades and breaks are now established. ENP is also pressured by transformation of surrounding habitats to agricultural use, with problems of pollution from pesticides and contamination of headwaters of the Jacuba and Formosa rivers. Another threat to ENP are introduced grass species, such as Braquiaria sp. Deaths of armadillos, anteaters and snakes on the roads bordering the south of ENP are regular.

Staff

In September 1998, CVNP had a staff of nine, including a park director, a deputy director, one biologist, one secretary, one game warden, one driver, one administrative assistant and two cleaners. ENP has three IBAMA federal civil servants and other staff provided by local Municipal and sate governments.

Budget

In 1995 CVNP Park received Brazilian Reais R$221,438 (approximately US$115,000 at current exchange rate) from the National Environment Program (PNMA), plus a further R$35,373 (US$18,000) directly from the IBAMA budget. Specifically, the Directorate of Ecosystems of IBAMA (DIREC) is responsible for paying for expendable supplies, maintenance and purchase of capital equipment, hired services, and the travel expenses and per diem of staff travelling on duty. The Federal Treasury pays for the staff salaries and the purchase of land. The State IBAMA Agency (SUPES) administrate the funds coming from DIREC. The PNMA is funded itself in large part from international sources. These funds are channelled through both DIREC and SUPES.

No budgetary information for ENP was provided.

IUCN Management Contraints

  • Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park II (National Park)
  • Emas National Park II (National Park)
  • Natural World Heritage Site - Criteria ii, iv

Further Reading

There is a complete list of references in the official nomination. Key references include:

  • Anon. 2000. The Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park -World Heritage Nomination. Brazil.
  • IBAMA/PROAVES. 1998. Parque Nacional da Chapada dos Veadeiros -Plano de Manejo. Brazil. 250pp.
  • IBAMA/PROAVES. 1998. Anexos do Plano de Manejo da Chapada dos Veadeiros. Brazil.

 

 

Disclaimer: This article is taken wholly from, or contains information that was originally published by, the United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). Topic editors and authors for the Encyclopedia of Earth may have edited its content or added new information. The use of information from the United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) should not be construed as support for or endorsement by that organization for any new information added by EoE personnel, or for any editing of the original content.

 

Glossary

Citation

M, U. (2008). Cerrado Protected Areas, Brazil. Retrieved from http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/151042

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