Present in much of the Brazilian coastal region, the Atlantic Forest is one of the most important tropical forests in the world, presenting a rich biodiversity.
Unfortunately, it is in the process of becoming extinct, mainly due to illegal logging, environmental pollution and real estate speculation.
To get an idea of the risk situation that Mata is in, it is sufficient to know that at the time of the discovery of Brazil it had an area equivalent to one third of the Amazon, extending from Rio Grande do Norte to Rio Grande do Sul. Today, it is reduced to just 7% of its original area. Despite the devastation suffered, the richness of the animal and plant species still sheltering in the Atlantic Forest is amazing.
In some remnant forest patches, biodiversity levels are considered the highest on the planet.
In contrast to this exuberance, statistics indicate that over 70% of the Brazilian population lives in the Atlantic Forest region. In addition to housing most of the country's cities and metropolitan regions, the original forest area is also home to Brazil's major industrial, oil and port poles, accounting for no less than 80% of national GDP.
The Atlantic Forest covers the Paraná, Uruguay, Paraíba do Sul, Doce, Jequitinhonha and São Francisco river basins.
Imposing tree species are found in the region, such as the pink jequitibá, 40 meters high and 4 meters in diameter. In this scenario, several other species also stand out: Parana pine, cedar, filgueiras, ipês, braúna and redwood, among many others. In the diversity of the Atlantic Forest are found forests of altitude, such as Serra do Mar (1,100 meters) and Itatiaia (1,600 meters) where the fog is constant.
Parallel to the plant richness, the fauna is the most impressive in the region. Most endangered Brazilian animal species originate in the Atlantic Forest, such as lion tamarins, otters, jaguars, giant armadillos and blue macaws. Also live in the region skunks, anteaters, sloths, tapirs, deer, cotias, coatis, among others.
Some indigenous peoples still inhabit the Atlantic Forest region. Among them, we can highlight: Pataxó, Kaiagang, Potiguara, Kadiweu, Krenak, Guarani, Kaiowa and Tupiniquim.