"The Refúgio de Alcatrazes is one of the youngest marine protected areas in Brazil. Being recognized as a Blue Park is a great honor for us and motivates us to continue facing the challenges of conserving biodiversity and maintaining marine ecosystem services, so essential for the quality of life on the planet." - Kelen Luciana Leite, Head of Tupinambás Ecologial Station and Alcatrazes Archipelago Wildlife Refuge
The Alcatrazes Refuge and Tupinambás Ecological Station is the second largest fully marine protected area in Brazil and is located 40 km off the coast of São Paulo, Brazil. It is composed of tropical, shallow water, coral reef environments over rocky shores and a sandy/muddy deep-sea bottom. The region is in an area of sea current confluence, leading to a rich biodiversity of warm- and cold-water species.
The Refuge harbors one of the highest reef fish biomasses in Brazil and 47 out of the 259 fish species are under some degree of threat, making the Refuge the main area for ichthyofauna conservation and replacement of fish stocks for the state. In addition, the wildlife refuge is used as a breeding and nursery area for highly threatened species of high biological value, such as rays, sharks, and groupers.
The MPA is home for many species considered vulnerable or higher on the IUCN Red List such as the Loggerhead turtle, Green turtle, Hawksbill turtle, Leatherback turtle, the Olive ridley turtle, and the La Plata dolphin. The Refuge contains endemic and rare reef species of coral, mollusk, and polychaetes. The Alcatrazes archipelago is also the largest breeding site for island birds in southeastern Brazil, with the largest frigate bird nest in the country. The islands are used for reproduction, foraging, and landing areas for kelp gulls, boobies, frigate birds, terns, cormorants, and herons.
- Award Year
- Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade (ICMBio)
- 697.1 km²
Photos by Leo Francini, Carolina Ferreira, and Cristian Dimitrius