RIO DE JANEIRO – Iguaçu National Park, located in the Brazilian state of Parana and home to the famous Iguaçu Falls, turns 80 on Thursday, the Environment Ministry said.
Officials are using the anniversary of the park’s founding to celebrate what has been an important achievement on both the environmental and tourism fronts.
The park, managed by the Chico Mendes Institute (ICMBio), which focuses on conservation, has seen the population of jaguars, a symbolic animal in the area and the largest carnivorous mammal in the Americas, increase, and visits by tourists also set a record in 2018.
The jaguar population soared 70 percent in recent years and the number of visitors reached 1.9 million, setting two records at the park, the ministry said.
To mark the 80th anniversary of the park, administrators organized an event for workers.
Environment Minister Ricardo Salles and ICMBio president Adalberto Eberhard will attend the celebration, which features music by Tiago Rossato.
Tourists visiting the park on Thursday will be welcomed with classical music performed by Energia Pura.
Iguaçu National Park was created on Jan. 10, 1939, and sprawls across 169,695 hectares (419,325 acres).
It is the second-most-visited park in Brazil, following Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro, known for the Christ the Redeemer statue.
The park, which sits on the border between Brazil and Argentina, was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986.
Iguaçu Falls is listed as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.