To Unesco home page

To sitemap

To MAB home page title2.gif (2287 bytes)
      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Caatinga Biosphere Reserve is characterized by Caatinga vegetation (a word of Tupi native Indian origin meaning ‘white forest’), as well as ‘Martius’ (Silva aestu aphylla) decidous forest in the drought period, the typical vegetation of the poor, semi-arid northeast of Brazil. Through the buffer and transition areas, the Caatinga Biosphere Reserve sets up ecological corridors among the diverse core areas, and it is also linked to the contiguous Mata Atlántica and Cerrado Biosphere Reserves. The Caatinga Biosphere Reserve is implementing a strategy of promoting the preservation of biodiversity, the development of research activities, environmental monitoring and education, sustainable development as well as the improvement of livelihoods of the people of northeastern Brazil. Some 210,000 people (2002) live in the Biosphere Reserve, mainly living from dry farming and cattle raising. There is also a great dependency on forestry products and several Caatinga plants are considered as having medicinal properties. Strategies aiming at the sustainable use of the Caatinga are part of the research agenda of the government and non-governmental organisations in the region. These strategies need in particular to reconcile traditional agriculture with irrigated fruit production.
  Major ecosystem type   Tropical dry forest (Caatinga) influenced by Cerrado and Atlantic forest ecotones in its surroundings
  Major habitats & land cover types   Caatinga stands for the kind of vegetation that covers the greatest semiarid region in Northeast Brazil. The Caatinga Biosphere Reserve has been divided into 6 units. Unit I represents a Caatinga high forest characterized by Tabebuia-Aspidosperma-Astronium-Cavanillesia association. Unit II varies from Caatinga middle or lower forest and open arboreal Caatinga. It presents four associations: a) Astronium-Schinopsis-Caesalpinia, b) Caesalpinia-Spondias-Bursera-Aspidosperma, c) Mimosa-Syagrus-Spondias-Cereus, and d) Cnidosculus-Bursera-Caesalpinia. Unit III represents a lower Caatinga forest and is characterized by Pilosocereus-Poepiggia-Dalbergia-Piptadenia association. Unit IV occurs in low Caatinga and includes four associations: a) Caesalpinia-Aspidosperma-Jatropha, b) Caesalpinia-Aspidosperma, c) Mimosa-Caesalpinia-Aristida, and d) Aspidosperma-Pelosocereus. Unit V represents a type of bushy Caatinga and is characterized by Calliandra-Pilosocereus association. Unit VI represents a Caatinga gallery forest and is characterized by Copernicia-Geoffroea-Licania association. Land uses include dry-farming (sequiro), agroecosystems, afforestation areas; pasture land.
  Location   03°00' to 16°00'S; 35°30' to 44°00'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   19,899,000
  Core area(s)   1,000,342
  Buffer zone(s)   13,545,000
  Transition area(s) when given   5,353,658
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +40 to +1,100
  Year designated   2001
  Administrative authorities   IBAMA's Ecosystem Director and State Agents as follows: SEMACE/Ceara, IDEMA/Rio Grande do Norte, SUDEMA/Paraiba, SECTMA/Pernambuco, CODISE/Sergipe, IMA/Alagoas, CRA/Bahia
  Brief description   Abiotic factors: Survey of potentialities, restrictions of surface and subterranean water resources use, and soil physical and chemical characteristics regarding function and availability towards agricultural processes
Biotic factors: Survey of Caatinga's fauna and flora
Socio-economic factors: Survey of socio-economic conditions of populations subdued by drought action
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Drought, soil.
  Biodiversity   Fauna, flora.
  Socio-economic   Agriculture/Production systems, resource use, social/socio-economic aspects.
  Integrated monitoring   Integrated studies/Interdisciplinaty.
  Contact address   Alexandrina Sobreira
Director of Ecosystems - IBAMA
Edifício Sede do IBAMA, SAIN - Av. L4 Norte
70800-200 Brasilia D.F.
  Telephone   (55.61) 225 3241
(55.61) 316 1163/1164
  Fax   (55.61) 225 7517

Last updated: 08/03/2011

To topTo MAB home pageTo UNESCO