Atlantic Forests

The Challenges

The two large urban centers of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo lie within the Atlantic Forests area, indicating the challenge of conserving the remaining habitat in the area. Just 2.5 acres (one hectare) of the forest were found to have 450 different species of trees. Protecting this diversity, while meeting the needs of growing metropolitan and rural populations, is a serious challenge. Logging, agricultural expansion, and associated road building threaten this globally important region of biological diversity. Habitat loss, hunting, and the wildlife trade threaten many species. From 2010 to 2012, deforestation in the Atlantic Forests increased from 155 to 220 km2 per year. Relatively extensive, but generally unprotected blocks of forest remain in the southern portion of the ecoregion, particularly in Argentina and Paraguay.