Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 51-54

Distribution of bat diversity in the southern and southeastern Brazilian Atlantic Forest

Marinho-Filho, Jader

In spite of the controversy about its characterization and geographic limits, the Brazilian Atlantic Forest is one of the most endangered tropical forest formation in the world, being reduced to less than 5% of its original cover (Fonseca 1985; Mittermeyer 1988). Since colonial times and throughout the last five centuries, the most important urban centers and most of the economic activity in Brazil have been concentrated along the Atlantic coast. Nowadays this region is the richest, most important and densely populated in the country. This develepment had high environmental costs: in southern and southeastern Brazil, the total area of the Atlantic Forest remnants correspond to no more than 162.500 km² (Fundação SOS Mata Atlêntica & INPE 1990) distributed mainly in the less accessible, and most rugged terrains. Despite the intense antropic pressure, the Atlantic Forest still bears impressive levels of species richness and diversity, with many endemic species in all groups of animals and plants for which there is a reliable data.(AU)