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State of Roraima

Short-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus ferox ©Lee Dingain Website

The state of Roraima lies in the far north of Brazil and is the northernmost and least populated state of Brazil, located in the Amazon region. It borders the states of Amazonas and Pará, as well as the nations of Venezuela and Guyana. It is still a frontier zone with agriculture, forestry and mining impinging on the wild world and indigenous peoples. When its grasslands were discovered in the mid-eighteenth century they were thought ideal cattle country. During the late 1980s there was a massive gold rush here with an influx of as many as 50,000 garimpeiros - the area's total population had been about 200,000 before. This influx in the northwest of the state was formerly the territory of the Yanomami Indians, a relatively recently discovered people.

The climate is tropical with an annual mean temperature of 26°C (78.8°F). Most of the state is located in the Amazon rainforest, with a small strip of savanna to the east. The state is rich in mineral deposits - especially gold, diamonds, cassiterite, bauxite, marble and copper. Many of these deposits are located in indigenous reserves, and illegal mining has resulted in frequent conflicts with the native population, especially that of the Yanomami and the Macuxi and allied groups.

Except in the higher mountains where the climate is cooler but very wet, Roraima has an equatorial climate. This is a type of tropical climate in which there is no dry season – all months have mean precipitation values of at least 60 mm. It is usually found at latitudes within five degrees of the equator – which are dominated by the Intertropical Convergence Zone. The equatorial climate is denoted Af in the Köppen climate classification. Tropical rainforest is the natural vegetation in equatorial regions.

The Monte Roraima National Park is located around one of the highest mountains of Venezuela, a 2,727 m high tepui known as Monte Roraima.



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Number of Species

Number of bird species: 848

As at November 2016

Useful Reading

Books, CDs, DVDs etc.

See the main Brazil page for guides etc. covering the whole country…


Abbreviations Key

Estação Ecológico Ilha de Maracá


Satellite View

446 species of birds are are distributed in forest and savannas of the park. The wealth of bird species in Maracá supports the hypothesis that the wealth of birds in the Amazon is higher on the periphery than in the heartlands. The mammal community is represented by 47 species of bats, 28 species of small mammals, of which 25 are rodents (Rodentia), 2 marsupials (marsupialis) and a rabbit (Lagomorpha). There are five species of primate, including the white-bellied spider monkey. As for carnivores there are 15 species, including jaguar and other smaller cats. There are 2 species of porpoise and many anteaters, sloths & armadillos. This fauna in Maraca is relatively well protected by the difficulty of access and the natural isolation of the islands.

Parque Nacional do Monte Roraima


Satellite View

Monte Roraima National Park, created in 1989, covers an area of 116,000 hectares…

Reserva Ecológico do Xixuaú-Xiparinã (Associação Amazônia)


Satellite View

The Reserva Ecolôgica do Xixuaú - Xiparinã is situated on the right hand bank of the Rio Jauaperí which marks the border between the Brazilian states of Amazonas and Roraima. The reserve measures 172,000 hectares and is the only private nature reserve of this type in the Brazilian Amazon.

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