Atol das Rocas Biological Reserve

Travel Guide South America Brazil Atol das Rocas Biological Reserve

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Introduction

Atol das Rocas Biological Reserve is a biological reserve in Brazil. The reserve is located on the Atol das Rocas, the only atoll in the South Atlantic Ocean, belonging to the Brazilian State of Rio Grande do Norte. It is located approximately 260 kilometres northeast of Natal and 145 kilometres west of the Fernando de Noronha archipelago. The atoll is of volcanic origin and coralline formation.

The Atol das Rocas Biological Reserve was created in 1979 as to protect nesting green turtles and migratory marine birds. Together with Fernando de Noronha it forms the Brazilian Atlantic Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Numerous turtles, sharks, dolphins and birds live in the area. The atoll consists mainly of coral and red algae. The coral ring is almost closed, with a 200 metres wide channel on the North side and a much narrower channel on the West side.

A biological reserve, it is currently used solely for scientific research. Due to their remote location, the islands remain largely undisturbed by human activities. On the other hand, the remoteness also limits researchers' access to the islands and few studies have been developed on this atoll. The entomological fauna from Atol das Rocas was already recorded.

There is a lighthouse of the Brazilian Navy that has been in operation and maintained since the 1960s, at the Northern end of Farol Bay. In its vicinity is a derelict lighthouse from 1933.

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Geography

The oval atoll is 3.7 kilometres long and 2.5 kilometres wide. The lagoon is up to 6 metres deep and has an area of 7.1 square kilometres. The land area of the two islets (Cemitério Island, southwest and Farol Cay, northwest) is 0.36 square kilometres. Farol Cay accounts for almost two thirds of the aggregate area. The highest point is a sand dune in the south of larger Farol Cay, with a height of 6 metres. Both islets are overgrown with grasses, bushes and a few palm trees. The population consists of crabs, spiders, scorpions, sand fleas, beetles, large roaches, and many species of birds.

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Sights and Activities

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Opening Hours

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Cost

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Getting There and Around

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Eat/Drink

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Sleep

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This is version 1. Last edited at 12:08 on Jan 20, 16 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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