One of the most fragmented ecosystems in Brazil is the Atlantic Rain Forest, due to centuries of deforestation along the coast which holds one of the world’s greatest biodiversity. Landscape metrics and shape can impact on border effect on patterns and processes of a forested ecosystem. In this paper, we map and characterize the forest fragmentation of the Tambaba Environmental Protection Area (APA), on the coast of Paraíba State, Brazil, using landscape metrics to verify the effectiveness of this protected area. We conducted a land cover classification (supervised classification by maximum likelyhood, RapidEye imagery) into two categories (1) forest and (2) non forest. Landscape metrics (number of fragments, total core area, proportion of core area, among others) were calculated using ArcGis extension Patch Analyst. From the APA’s total 11.550 ha, 2.200 ha were classified as forest (19%), distributed in 1.364 fragments of different sizes. Total core area varied from 1.470 (10 m border effect) to 370 ha (50 m border effect), dependending on edge effect distance, which provides a true conservation of only 13 to 3% of the total APA. These results point to the necessity of an intense and rigorous surveillance of the compliance with laws, as well as a rational and participatory management, through the APA’s management council and public agencies, in order to protect the remnant fragments.
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