THE PANTANAL

The Pantanal Great Alluvial Plain covers an area of about 200,000 square kilometers located almost entirely in Brazilian territory, in the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul. For five months of the year, the Pantanal is flooded for about three quarters of its extension by the overflowing of the rivers that cross it.

The Pantanal is in fact the largest wetland in the world and the ecosystem with the greatest biodiversity and the greatest concentration of fauna and flora of the entire American continent.
Here it's very easy to observe wildlife, on the contrary of the Amazon rainforest where the vegetation is dense and the trees are very tall, the Pantanal offers a more open view, making it one of the most popular and famous places in the world for birding and wildlife photography.

During the rainy season the lands of the Pantanal remain flooded for months receiving nourishment from the waters, and the animals congregate on the islands (capões) and emerged land strips (cordilheiras). As soon as the waters begin to recede, many birds find livelihood by microorganisms and by trapped fishes, and concentrate around the waterholes. A unique ecosystem for the enormous wealth of flora and fauna, so much so that in the year 2000 has been recognized by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site.

The Seasons

Every season of the year in the Pantanal Great Alluvial Plain is very charming and worth to know them all.

Rainy season
In October, the first rains begin to fall in Mato Grosso, the rivers carry water to the plain and when they overflow, the Pantanal begins gradually to fill up. During this season the water in the Pantanal basin rises between two and five meters, the jaguars migrate to the north, where the water level is lower and where there are herds of capybaras and other animals within capões and cordilheras. The wading birds are scattered in all the flooded areas and Ardeidae gather in capões, caimans are hunting wherever and they gather in dry areas to sunbathe. The landscape is characteristic of flooded Pantanal, beautiful sunsets, temperatures cool but the insects are annoying in some areas. Although the period of rains sometimes impedes the transport, it is also true that the rain is not constant but alternating with sunny. This season, the water level can get close to the lodges and excursions by car or truck are sometimes not possible, but are practiced by boat or by horse.
 

The ebb (vazante)
Probably this is the most interesting season, in April the rain stops and the water begins to recede. It remain only little lakes where many fishes and small crustaceans remain trapped. It's here that focus many forms of life, birds, caimans, anacondas, giant otters, capybaras, tapirs, and jaguars. It's the best time for birds photography, especially migratory birds like the Roseate Spoonbill, but also the residents as the Jabiru Stork, the Black Skimmer, kingfishers, hawks and many others. The scenery is always beautiful with flowering and coloured trees, butterflies, parrots and postcard sunsets. The temperatures begin to rise and insects to stop.
 

Dry season
The dry period is no less interesting. The water in the ponds was further reduced but still teeming with life. The caymans spends a lot of time underwater to ambushing the last remaining fishes, birds and capybaras. Jaguars migrate south, where the water level in the rivers is higher and allows to find sustenance. It's the best season to spot the jaguars, in fact the chances of seeing them drinking or hunting on the river banks are very high. Many dry areas are covered by Cerrado typical vegetation, in which it is easy to observe emus and Pantanal deers. Movements and safari by car or on horseback are easy. Temperatures are high and there are very few insects.

Temperatures, precipitations, water lavel


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Map


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Fauna

ric The extraordinary Pantanal biodiversity includes more than 650 birds species, 262 fishes, 80 mammals, 50 reptiles, 1,100 butterflies and more than 1,700 plants.

Among the many birds species that can be observed, the Hyacinth macaw is certainly one of the most spectacular, since is the largest parrot in the world and is endemic to this area. The other common bird species includes: Jabiru stork, wood stork, roseate spoonbill, capped heron, agami heron, limpkin, boat-billed heron, greater rhea, blue-fronted parrot, black-hooded parakeet, toco toucan, chestnut-heared aracari, and many other species of kingfishers, woodpeckers, hawks and kites, owls, trogons, guans, tanagers and many more.

Among the mammals: jaguar, ocelot, puma, jaguaroundi, Pantanal cat, giant river otter, tayra, crab-eating raccoon, crab-eating fox, South American coati, brown capuchin monkey, black and gold howler monkey, black-tailed marmoset, giant anteater, southern tamandus, tapir, capybara, Azara's agouti, armadillo, peccary, pampas deer and marsh deer.

Among the reptiles, the most important are certainly the yacare cayman, anaconda, green iguana.

Flora

ric The flora is essentially that same of the Cerrado, but there are also endemic species.

Among the most important vegetation we remember the beautiful Jacaranda trees with blue-purple flowers, the Peuva with pink flowers (Tabebuia impetiginosa), Tabebuia aurea, Moriche palm (Mauritia flexuosa), Maduvi tree (Sterculia apetala), Carandá palms (Copernicia alba) well adapted to wetlands, the Cambara (Vochysia divergens) with yellow flowers. Among aquatic species, the invasive water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) with pink flowers and the beautiful Victoria Regia with the enormous floating leaves.

WILD PANTANAL TOUR OPERATOR

CUIABA'
BRAZIL
CNPJ: 19.337.733/0001-44
CADASTUR: 13.060852.10.0001-4
info@wildpantanal.com

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