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A biodiversity Vision for the upper Paraná Atlantic Forest Ecoregion

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A Biodiversity Vision for the

UPper Paraná Atlantic Forest Ecoregion
Designing a Biodiversity Conservation Landscape and setting priorities for conservation action

A Biodiversity Vision for the

UPper Paraná Atlantic Forest Ecoregion:
Designing a Biodiversity Conservation Landscape and setting priorities for conservation action

by Mario S. Di Bitetti1, Guillermo Placci1, & Lou Ann Dietz2
WWF Atlantic Forest Team: Aida Luz Aquino, Atlantic Forest Coordinator – Paraguay2; Guillermo Placci, Atlantic Forest Coordinator – Argentina1; Mario S. Di Bitetti, Projects Officer – Argentina1; Helena Maria Maltez – Atlantic Forest Coordinator – Brazil3; Lou Ann Dietz – Atlantic Forest Coordinator - International2
WWF Atlantic Forest Steering Group: Sandra Charity4, Javier Corcuera1, Leonardo Lacerda3, Meg Symington2
1 Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina


3 WWF-Brazil


Copyright 2003 World Wildlife Fund

Please cite this publication as:
Di Bitetti, M.S; Placci, G; and Dietz, L.A. 2003.
A Biodiversity Vision for the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest Ecoregion: Designing a Biodiversity Conservation Landscape and Setting Priorities for Conservation Action.
Washington, D.C., World Wildlife Fund

Cover photo: San Pedro, Misiones Province, Argentina by Gustavo Sebastián Cabanne

This Vision for the Conservation of the

Biodiversity of the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest Ecoregion

(also known as the Interior Atlantic Forest, the Mata Atlântica do Interior,

the Selva Paranaense, Bosque Atlántico del Interior)

is dedicated to all of the many institutions and individuals

who have contributed their efforts and resources to developing it,

and who are orienting their conservation programs to achieve it,

with the hope that together we can make it a reality — if not within our own lifetimes, then

within the lifetimes of our children.

February 2003


This document is the result of a collaborative effort of the WWF Network with many other institutions and individuals in an ongoing process that began in 1998. We would like to thank the following individuals and institutions for their contributions:

Project activities leading to the Biodiversity Vision were made possible through financial support provided by:

The Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Trade, U.S. Agency for International

Development (USAID), under the terms of Award No. LAG-A-00-99-00048-00. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Agency for International Development;

The Summit Foundation, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.;

The Overbrook Foundation, New York, NY, U.S.A.;

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL, U.S.A.;

WWF-US, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
The entire process of developing the Biodiversity Vision (from mobilizing and developing partnerships, projects, and raising funds, to compilation and analysis of data, insightful discussions during all phases of the development of the methodology and data analyses, developing conservation targets, as well as review of this document) was coordinated by the WWF Atlantic Forest Ecoregion Technical Team:

Aida Luz Aquino, Paraguay Coordinator (WWF-US); Mario S. Di Bitetti, Argentina Projects Officer (Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina - FVSA); Guillermo Placci, Argentina Coordinator (Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina - FVSA); Helena Maltez, Brazil Coordinator (WWF-Brazil); Lou Ann Dietz, International Coordinator (WWF-US).

Coordination of WWF Atlantic Forest Ecoregion efforts in Brazil during earlier stages:

Kátia Lemos Costa (1998-1999); Luis Paulo Ferraz (1999-2001).

Overall guidance - WWF Atlantic Forest Ecoregion Steering Group:

Sandra Charity (WWF-UK), Javier Corcuera (FVSA), Leonardo Lacerda (WWF-Brazil),

Meg Symington (WWF-US).
Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis:

German Palé (FVSA); Juan Carlos Riveros Salcedo (WWF-US); Tom Allnutt (WWF-

Assistance in the development of the international and local partnerships necessary to move forward the process of developing the Vision:

Katia Lemos Costa (WWF-Brazil); Nancy de Moraes (WWF-US); Myrna Paola Narváez

(FVSA); Daniela I. Rode (FVSA); Patricia Keller (Communications Secretary for the Tri-

national Initiative for the Atlantic Forest Green Corridor); Ana Maria Macedo Sienra

(Fundación Moises Bertoni); Miguel Morales (USAID Paraguay Mission); Miguel

Pellerano (consultant).

Compilation of information for earlier stages of this Vision:

Sueli Angelo Furlan (University of São Paulo); Francisco A. Arruda Sampaio (University of São Paulo); Rosalia Fariña (consultant).
Insightful discussions during different phases of the development of the methodology:

Garo Batmanian (WWF-Brazil); Robert Buschbacher (WWF-Brazil); José Maria Cardoso (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco); Roberto Cavalcanti (Conservation International do Brasil); Javier Corcuera (FVSA); Leandro Ferreira (WWF-Brazil); Marcia Hirota (Fundacion SOS Mata Atlântica); Mauro Galetti (Universidade Estadual de São Paulo–UNESP); Andrés Johnson (FVSA); Rosa Lemos de Sá (WWF-Brazil); Miguel Morales (USAID – Paraguay Mission); Heloisa de Oliveira (Conservation International do Brasil); Claudio Valladares Padua (Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas – IPÊ); Luiz Paulo de Souza Pinto (Conservation International do Brasil); Denise Marçal Rambaldi (Associação Mico-Leão Dourado); Carlos Saavedra (The Summit Foundation); Alejandro Serret (FVSA); Chelsea Specht; Marcelo Tabarelli (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco).

Continuing guidance in ecoregion conservation methodology:

WWF-US Staff: Tom Allnutt, Sarah Christiansen, John Morrison, George Powell, Juan Carlos Riveros Salcedo, Doreen Robinson, and Harry Van der Linde.

Editing of this document:

Nancy de Moraes (WWF-US).


German Palé (FVSA).

Review of this document:

Tom Allnutt (WWF-US); Sandra Charity (WWF-UK); James Dietz (University of

Maryland); Leonardo Lacerda (WWF-Brazil); Doreen Robinson (WWF-US); Meg

Symington (WWF-US); Michele Thieme (WWF-US); Gustavo Sebastián Cabanne (Instituto de Biociências-Universidade de São Paulo).

Compilation of geographic, socioeconomic and biological data sets:

For Paraguay:

Alberto Madroño (Guyra Paraguay) provided information about birds.

Ana Maria Macedo Sienra (Fundación Moisés Bertoni) gathered information available at

FMB on vegetation, fauna, and protected areas, and compiled all information from Paraguay.

Nélida Rivarola with the help of Milagros Lencinas (Centro de Datos para la

Conservación –CDC, Dirección de Parques y Vida Silvestre, Sub-Secretaria de Recursos Naturales, Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganaderia) gathered information on vegetation, fauna, and protected areas from the CDC, the Facultad de Ciencias Químicas and the Museo de Ciencias Naturales.

Alberto Rautemberg (Servicios Ecoforestales para Agricultores – SEPA) and Elías

Díaz Peña and Miguel Lovera (Sobrevivencia – Amigos de la Tierra) provided socioeconomic data.

Jorge Pinazzo and Larisa Rejalaga (Carrera de Ingeniería Forestal, Universidad National

de Asunción) provided information about the physical environment.

The Departamento de Ordenamiento Territorial, Dirrecion de Ordenamiento Ambiental –

Direccion de Parques Nacionales y Vida Silvestre - Subsecretaria de Estado de Recursos Naturales y Medio Ambiente - Ministerio de Agricultra y Ganaderia together with the Carrera de Ingenieria Forestal - Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias - Universidad Nacional de Asuncion, and the Fundación Moisés Bertoni produced the forest cover map.

For Argentina:

Miguel Rinas, Paula Bertolini, and Juan Pablo Cinto (Ministerio de Ecología y Recursos

Naturales de la Provincia de Misiones) provided information on protected areas.

Miguel López (Facultad de Ciencias Forestales, Universidad Nacional de Misiones) and

Claudia Noseda (Plan Social Agropecuario) provided socioeconomic information.

Luis Colcombet & Roberto Fernández (Instituto de Tecnología Agropecuaria – INTA,

Montecarlo) provided land use information.

H.Daniel Ligier (Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria –INTA, Corrientes)

provided information on geomorphology, hydrology, climate, and soils.

Juan Carlos Chébez (Administración de Parques Nacionales) and Hernán Casañas (Aves

Argentinas) provided information on fauna.

Fernando Zuloaga and Manuel Belgrano (Instituto de Botánica Darwinion) provided

information on vegetation.

Irene Fabricante (FVSA) produced the forest cover map.

For Brazil:

We used information collected in the Avaliação e Ações Prioritárias para a Conservação da Biodiversidade da Mata Atlântica e Campos Sulinos, a priority-setting effort for the Atlantic Forest and Southern Grasslands Biomes. This was carried out for PROBIO, the national project “Conservation and Sustainable use of Brazilian Biological Diversity,” conducted by the Ministry of Environment. This fulfilled part of the country’s obligations under the Biodiversity Convention, signed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development-UNCED (Rio 1992). This information was compiled for the Ministry of Environment by: Conservation International do Brasil; Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica; Fundação Biodiversitas; Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas; Secretaria do Meio Ambiente do Estado de São Paulo/SEMAD; and the Instituo Estadual de Florestas of Minas Gerais.

Julio Gonchorosky (Director of Iguaçu National Park – IBAMA) provided

complementary information for the area of Iguaçu National Park and Turvo State Park.

Instituto Brasileiro de Meio Ambiente e Recursos Naturais Renovaveis – IBAMA

provided information on protected areas;

Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica provided the forest cover map.
Integration of data sets into ecoregional Geographic Information System:

For Paraguay—Pedro Alvarenga (AlterVida) and Anibal Aguayo (Guyra Paraguay);

For Argentina—Irene Fabricante (FVSA) and José Benitez

(Ministerio de Ecología y Recursos Naturales de la Provincia de Misiones);

For Brazil—Leandro Ferreira (WWF-Brazil);

Ecoregion wide—Tom Allnutt and Megan McKnight (WWF-US); German Palé (FVSA).

Participants attending the workshop Toward a Biological Vision for the Paraná/Paraiba Interior Atlantic Forest Ecoregion, held April 25-26, 2000, in Foz do Iguaçu, Paraná, Brazil:

Tom Allnutt (WWF-US); Pedro Alvarenga (AlterVida, Paraguay); Aida Luz Aquino (WWF-US, in Paraguay); João Batista Campos (Instituto Ambiental do Paraná, Brazil); Manuel Balgrano (Instituo de Botánica Darwinion, Argentina); José Benitez (Ministerio de Ecología y Recursos Naturales Renovables, Misiones, Argentina); Hugo Cámara (Ministerio de Ecología y Recursos Naturales Renovables, Misiones, Argentina); Rogerio Castro (Secretaria Estadual do Meio Ambiente, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil); Juan Carlos Chébez (Administración de Parques Nacionales, Argentina); Juan Pablo Cinto (Ministério de Ecología y Recursos Naturales Renovables, Misiones, Argentina); Luis Colcombet (Instituto de Tecnología Agropecuaria–INTA, Montecarlo, Argentina); Laury Cullen (Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas–IPÊ, Brazil); Wanderley de Moraes (Itaipú Binacional, Brazil); Lou Ann Dietz (WWF-US); Maria Elena Escobar (Itaipú Binacional, Paraguay); Irene Fabricante (FVSA); Luis Paulo Ferraz (WWF-Brazil); Leandro Ferreira (WWF-Brazil); Julio Gonchorosky (Parque Nacional do Iguaçu–IBAMA, Brazil); John Griffin (USAID, USA); Patricia Keller (Tri-national Initiative for the Atlantic Forest Green Corridor); Milagros Lencina (CDC, Parques Nacionales y Vida Silvestre, Paraguay); H. Daniel Ligier (Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria–INTA, Sombrerito, Argentina); Miguel López (Universidad Nacional de Misiones, Argentina); Miguel Lovera (Sobrevivencia, Parguay); Ana Maria Macedo Sienra (Fundación Moisés Bertoni, Paraguay); Megan McKnight (WWF-US); Guillermo Placci (FVSA); George Powell (WWF-US); Alberto Rautenberg (Servicios Ecoforestales para Agricultores, Paraguay); Larisa Rejalaga (Carrera de Ingenieria Forestal/ Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad Nacional de Asunción - CIF/FCA/UNA, Paraguay); Doreen Robinson (WWF-US); Marcelo Tabarelli (Departamento de Botânica, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil); Myriam Velázquez (Guyra Paraguay, Paraguay); Victor Vera (consultant,Paraguay).

While we have tried to acknowledge all of the many organizations and individuals who have contributed to this document, there may be some we have missed. We apologize in advance for any oversight of their hard work.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements v

List of Figures xi

List of Tables xii

Vision Statement xiii

Executive Summary 1

Chapter 1 7

Ecoregion Conservation and the Biodiversity Vision 7

What is an ecoregion? 7

Minimum conservation targets to achieve the goals of ecoregion conservation (ERC) 9

The Biodiversity Vision as a tool for implementing Ecoregion Conservation 11

Chapter 2 14

The Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest Ecoregion 14

The Atlantic Forests Ecoregion Complex 14

The Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest Ecoregion 16

Natural history of the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest 16

The main causes of fragmentation and degradation of the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest 18

Land use 18

Infrastructure 20

Unsustainable exploitation of the native forest 20

Unsustainable hunting 21

The root causes of environmental degradation 22

Opportunities for biodiversity conservation in the Upper Paraná Ecoregion 23

Chapter 3 39

Goals for Achieving Biodiversity Conservation Results 39

The Problems of Fragmentation: Edge effects, Size effects and Isolation 41

Chapter 4 44

Designing a Biodiversity Conservation Landscape – Methods 44

Design of the Biodiversity Conservation Landscape—The Biodiversity Conservation Landscape was designed following a series of logical steps using the biodiversity conservation potential map. We began the process by identifying the building blocks of the conservation landscape and linking them in a series of steps according to their contribution to biodiversity conservation. The following steps, ordered by their conservation priority, were taken into account when designing the Biodiversity Conservation Landscape: 48

Chapter 5 70

Results: The Biodiversity Conservation Landscape 70

Representation of the Landscape Units 70

The Biodiversity Conservation Landscape 70

A) Priority Areas for Biodiversity Conservation 70

B) Strategic Areas for Biodiversity Conservation 72

C) Sustainable Use Areas 72

Chapter 6 90

Setting priorities for conservation action – Conservation Targets 90

From Vision to Action – implementing an Ecoregion Action Plan 95

References 96

Appendix 1 102

Ecoregion Action Plan 102

WWF Target Driven Programs 102

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