Aparados da Serra National Park (PNAS) is located southern Brazil, on the eastern boundary between Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina States. The name "Aparados da Serra" means the rugged transition between the high plateau region and the littoral plain region in which grasslands form. The main goal is to conserve the grasslands, forests, and cliff vegetation refuge and all of the natural elements associated with those ecosystems. Furthermore, the national park protects the impressive scenery formed by geological and geomorphologic processes. The main attraction of the park is the famous Itaimbezinho Canyon.
Itaimbezinho Canyon, Aparados da Serra National Park
Despite its small size (10,250 ha), the park shelters a wide variety of environments and, consequently, rich biodiversity. This is due to two prevailing factors. First, there are two distinct geomorphologic units: the plateau and the sharp slopes on its edge. Second, the park is found in a region of ecological convergence, where contact between coastal forests of Atlantic influence, grasslands and Araucaria forests occurs. Endangered species of the plateau, such as the red-spectacled parrot (Amazona pretrei), the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), and the puma (Puma concolor), are protected in the park. Other endangered species like the neotropical otter (Lontra longicaudis), the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and the brown howler monkey (Alouatta fusca) live on the slopes.
ParksWatch-Brazil considers Aparados da Serra National Park to be threatened and there is a great risk that in the near future the conservation unit will fail to protect its biological diversity and natural ecological processes. Immediate remedial actions are necessary to ensure the park fulfills its management goals. The greatest threat to the park is permanent human presence within its borders and the related activities that are not compatible with its management objectives. The human presence is a direct result of the park's incomplete land titling process.