Brazilian Atlantic Islands: 
Fernando de Noronha and Atoll das Rocas Reserves (2001)
Brazil

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Peaks of the Southern Atlantic submarine ridge form the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago and Rocas Atoll off the coast of Brazil. They represent a large proportion of the island surface of the South Atlantic and their rich waters are extremely important for the breeding and feeding of tuna, shark, turtle and marine mammals. The islands are home to the largest concentration of tropical seabirds in the Western Atlantic. Baia de Golfinhos has an exceptional population of resident dolphin and at low tide the Rocas Atoll provides a spectacular seascape of lagoons and tidal pools teeming with fish. 

In its justification for inscription UNESCO states that FNNMP/AdRBR represents over half the insular coastal waters of the Southern Atlantic Ocean. These highly productive waters provide feeding ground for species such as tuna, billfish, cetaceans, sharks, and marine turtles as they migrate to the Eastern Atlantic coast of Africa. An oasis of marine life in relatively barren, open ocean, the islands play a key role in the process of reproduction, dispersal and colonisation by marine organisms in the entire Tropical South Atlantic. 

Brazil 2003. Souvenir sheet. 500th anniversary of the Fernando de Noronha Island.

Baía dos Golfinhos is the only know place in the world with such a high population of resident dolphins and Atoll das Rocas demonstrates a spectacular seascape at low tide when the exposed reef surrounding shallow lagoons and tidal pools forms a natural aquarium. Both sites have also exceptional submarine landscapes that have been recognised worldwide by a number of specialised diving literatures. 

  • Brazil 2003. Souvenir sheet. 500th anniversary of the Fernando de Noronha Island. 

Brazil 2003. 500th anniversary of the Fernando de Noronha Island.  Stamp.

  • Brazil 2003. Close-up of the stamp. 

FNNMP/AdRBR is a key site for the protection of biodiversity and endangered species in the Southern Atlantic. Providing a large proportion of the insular habitat of the South Atlantic, the site is a repository for the maintenance of marine biodiversity at the ocean basin level. 

It is important for the conservation of endangered and threatened species of marine turtles, particularly the hawksbill turtle. The site accommodates the largest concentration of tropical seabirds to be found in the Western Atlantic Ocean, and is a Global Centre of Bird Endemism. The site also contains the only remaining sample of the Insular Atlantic Forest and the only oceanic mangrove in the South Atlantic region. 

  • Brazil 2004. Souvenir sheet. Nature Preservation of the Mangrove Swamps. 

Brazil 2004. Souvenir sheet. Nature Preservation of the Mangrove Swamps.

Other World Heritage Sites in Brazil (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Brazil-section, for further information about the individual properties. 

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Revised 03 aug 2006  
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