Pantanal - experience the World´s largest Wetland
The Pantanal lies southwest of the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul and covers between 75,000 and 80,000 square miles of tropical prairie, forest and lagoons – the largest fresh water marsh on earth. It is an enormous interior delta of innumerable rivers whose sediments are slowly filling in what was in the Tertiary, a sinking of the earth's crust. It is estimated that 650 species of birds are to be found here and as the waters recede in April, they appear in vast numbers and variety.
The Pantanal is a tropical wetland and the world's largest wetland of any kind. It lies mostly within the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul but extends into Mato Grosso as well as into portions of Bolivia and Paraguay. Various sub-regional ecosystems exist, each with distinct hydrological, geological and ecological characteristics.
80% of the Pantanal floodplains are submerged during the rainy seasons, nurturing an astonishing biologically diverse collection of aquatic plants and helping support a dense array of animal species. Though the Pantanal inevitably cuts a lower profile than the Amazon Rainforest to its north, its ecosystems are similarly precious.
The name "Pantanal" comes from the Portuguese word pântano, meaning wetland, bog, swamp or marsh.
Ecological Expeditions map of the Pantanal:
The characteristic vegetation of the region is similar to the Cerrado ecosystem in which the Pantanal is included. In the north it is strongly influenced by the Amazon and shares many species with it. During the rainy season, from December to April, much of the region remains flooded but in the dry period hundreds of small perennial lagoons serve as a refuge for thousands of animals. Sparse human settlement, annual flooding and difficult accesses have helped maintain the area's variety and abundance of wildlife. The Pantanal is the biggest wetland area of the world, being four times the size of switzerland, but inhabiting only 4.500 people, mostly Gauchos taking care of round about 9.000.000 pieces of cattle.
The Pantanal, located in the south-west of Brazil, bordering Bolivia and Paraguai, offers a great possibility to live wildlife and enjoy nature because of its geographical structure. Open savanah land with forest-islands, waterchannels and lagoons give animals such as the Puma, Jaguar, Giant Anteater, Brazilian Tapir, the Capybara, Caymans and the mystique Anacaonda a perfect habitat, and you the chance to actually feel and inhale nature and wildlife. Birdwatchers will come to their costs, being able to observe round about 700 different species, such as for example the symbol of the Pantanal the Jabiru Stork, the pink spoonbills, various Herons and Ibises, Woodpeckers, Birds of prey, colorful Parakeets and not to forget the Blue and yellow or the Hyacinthine Macaws.