Peaks of the Southern Atlantic submarine ridge form the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago and Rocas Atoll off the coast of Brazil. They represent a large proportion of the island surface of the South Atlantic and their rich waters are extremely important for the breeding and feeding of tuna, shark, turtle and marine mammals. The islands are home to the largest concentration of tropical seabirds in the Western Atlantic. Baia de Golfinhos has an exceptional population of resident dolphin and at low tide the Rocas Atoll provides a spectacular seascape of lagoons and tidal pools teeming with fish.
The Fernando de Noronha part of the site covers the majority of the main island and includes the majority of smaller offshore islands and islets. The Fernando de Noronha Archipelago and Rocas Atoll represent the peaks of a large submarine mountain system of volcanic origin, which rises from the ocean floor some 4,000 m in depth. The Fernando de Noronha volcano is estimated to be between 1.8 million and 12.3 million years old. Fernando de Noronha is also the only know location for Insular Atlantic Forest - a subtype of Atlantic Rainforest. To date over 400 species of vascular plants have recorded in FNNMP, including three endemics. FNNMP also contains the sole oceanic mangrove in the South Atlantic.
The Rocas Atoll is a reef formation on a submarine mountain rock substrate, with an area of some 7.5 km2. During high tide only two sandy islands with a maximum height of 3 m above sea level and some isolated calcareous formations, the 'rocas', stand above water. Farol Island, the larger of the two, has a stretched 'S' form, with approximately 1,000 m in length and 200 m average width. During low tide the reef ring of the atoll is exposed, consisting of a natural wall some 1.5 m high and bordered by sandbanks. Inside the atoll is a large lagoon with shallows and pools 1-5 m deep.
Contacts & Resources
Original data record from World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) via ProtectedPlanet.net [view record on site].