• Capital City: Brasília (Metro Area Population: 2.4 million)
• Location and Borders: Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean
• Administrative Divisions: 26 states (estados, singular - estado); Acre, Alagoas, Amapa, Amazonas, Bahia, Ceara, Espirito Santo, Goias, Maranhao, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Para, Paraiba, Parana, Pernambuco, Piaui, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Rondonia, Roraima, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, Sergipe, Tocantins; 1 federal district (distrito federal); Distrito Federal
• Area: Total: 8,511,965 sq km
Land: 8,456,510 sq km
Water: 55,455 sq km
• Climate: mostly tropical, but temperate in south
• Population: 190,011,000
• Demographic Growth Rate: 1.01%
• Industries: textiles, shoes, chemicals, cement, lumber, iron ore, tin, steel, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, other machinery and equipment
• Languages: Portuguese (official), Spanish, English, French
• Government System: federal republic
Regions of Brazil
Brazil, thanks to its being so large, is one of the famous biodiversity hotspots of the world. Of its nearly 855 million hectares of land, 18% are declared protected including nature reserves, wilderness areas, national parks, natural monuments, and marine areas. This protected area consists of over 1,200 protected sites including 7 wetland reserves of international important as well 5 biosphere reserves.
The Amazon Rainforest is popularly characterized as having some 6,000 species of plants in only one square kilometer of forest. From the forest floor to the canopy is an immense 30 meters and is layered in a way that creates numerous different habitats for the thousands of plant and animal life. Likewise, a portion of Brazil resides within the Amazon Rainforest and exhibits these very same characteristics.
Southwest of the jungle are Brazil's mata and scrub forests. Further east you will see the results of meager soil and harsh droughts in the areas with thick thorn scrub. In the humid regions indigenous cotton grows and is the location of sugar plantations important to the region's economy. Also present in this humid region are common fruit trees such as mango and coconut. Brazil is also home to a savannah region with many thin forests consisting of different shrubs, ferns, herbs, and grasses. These grasses are a popular grazing area for cattle and other animals in the southern region of the country. Also in the southern area are many wild flowers and flowering trees. In the plateau regions are forests which are home to pines and broadleaf species. The pampas region is another economically important spot as it is home to the trees whose leaves are used in the production of mate, a very popular beverage. All in all, the entire country is home to more than 56,000 species of plants and trees. Of these, a few hundred species are threatened due to the such problems as deforestation.
The Amazon Rainforest is obviously home to a great many species of wildlife including many birds like parrots, toucans, and various others of bright colors. In the entire country there are nearly 700 species of birds making Brazil a birdwatcher's haven. However, due to the destruction of the forest, more than 100 of these birds are threatened. This area is also home to different species of fish, monkeys, butterflies, snakes, and much more. In fact, there are over 2,000 mammal, reptile, amphibian, and fish species in Brazil.
These incredible characteristics show that Brazil is a country of lush biodiversity, which has recently spawned a strong increase in nature-friendly eco-tourism. Enjoy the many different Brazilian ecosystems with their thriving flora and fauna!