Biodiversity at REGUA
The Atlantic Forest is one of the top five biodiversity hotspots on Earth . Palaeoenvironmental studies indicate that the Atlantic Forest was once contiguous with the Amazon, becoming separated during the Tertiary period when an increasingly arid climate allowed the dry open grass and shrub dominated Caatinga, Cerrado and Pantanal to form a wide barrier between the two great forests . Although wetter periods during the more recent late Pleistocene and Holocene allowed forest bridges between the Atlantic Forest and the Amazon to form  , for tens of thousands of years the Atlantic Forest has evolved largely in geographical isolation.
Together with a vast latitudinal distribution and a wide range in elevation due to the region’s mountainous topography, geographical isolation has produced a rich biodiversity with an exceptionally high level of endemism . Endemism in Atlantic Forest flora and fauna averages 50%, but reaches 90% for some organisms .
Bio-inventories at REGUA show that with its continuous forest cover, from humid forest in the lowlands up to montane elfin forest at 2,000 metres above sea level, wetlands, rivers, grassland, and farmland, REGUA is an important area of Atlantic Forest for biodiversity and an area of high conservation priority.
58 arachnid species have been identified at REGUA, including 48 spiders (Arachnida), eight harvestmen and daddy-longlegs (Opiliones) and two species of scorpion (Scorpiones). To follow »
2,120 butterfly species have been recorded in the Atlantic Forest . 377 species have been identified at REGUA to date. To follow »
REGUA is home to more odonata species than anywhere else in the Atlantic Forest, with 207 species recorded to date. More »
There is clearly a huge diversity of moths at REGUA and so far 158 moth species have been recorded, including 76 hawkmoth species. More »
A total of 97 orchid species from 51 genera have been identified at REGUA. 44 of these species are new citations for the municipality of Cachoeiras de Macacu. To follow »
1. Buso Junior, A. A. et al. (2013) Late Pleistocene and Holocene Vegetation, Climate Dynamics, and Amazonian Taxa in the Atlantic Forest, Linhares, SE Brazil. Radiocarbon. 55, 2013. pp. 1747-1762.
2. Costa, L. P. (2003) The historical bridge between the Amazon and the Atlantic Forest of Brazil: a study of molecular phylogeography with small mammals. Journal of Biogeography. 30. pp. 71–86.
3. de Mello Martins, F. (2011) Historical biogeography of the Brazilian Atlantic forest and the Carnaval Moritz model of Pleistocene refugia: what do phylogeographical studies tell us? Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 104. pp. 499-509.
4. Iracambi. (2009) The Atlantic Forest. [Online]. Available from: http://en.iracambi.com/about-us/where-we-are/the-atlantic-rainforest [Accessed 7 April 2015].
5. Myers, N. et al. (2000) Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature. 403. pp. 853–858.
6. Ribeiro, M. C. et al. (2011) The Brazilian Atlantic Forest: A Shrinking Biodiversity Hotspot. In: Zachos, F. E. & Habel, J. C. (eds.) Biodiversity Hotspots: Distribution and Protection of Conservation Priority Areas. Berlin. Springer.
7. Stotz, D. F. et al. (1996) Neotropical Birds: Ecology and Conservation. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press.
8. Wildscreen Arkive. (2015) Atlantic forest. [Online]. Available from: http://www.arkive.org/eco-regions/atlantic-forest/ [Accessed 7 April 2015].