The Pantanal (Portuguese pronunciation: [pɐ̃taˈnaw]) is a natural region encompassing the world's largest tropical wetland area. It is located mostly within the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, but it extends into Mato Grosso and portions of Bolivia and Paraguay. It sprawls over an area estimated at between 140,000 and 195,000 square kilometres (54,000 and 75,000 sq mi). Various subregional ecosystems exist, each with distinct hydrological, geological and ecological characteristics; up to 12 of them have been defined (RADAMBRASIL 1982).
The name "Pantanal" comes from the Portuguese word pântano, meaning wetland, bog, swamp, quagmire or marsh. By comparison, the Brazilian highlands are locally referred to as the planalto, plateau or, literally, high plain.
|Pantanal Conservation Area|
|UNESCO World Heritage Site|
Typical Pantanal scenery
|Criteria||Natural: (vii), (ix), (x)|
|Inscription||2000 (24th Session)|
|Area||187,818 km2 (72,517 sq mi)|
|Official name||Pantanal Matogrossense|
|Designated||24 May 1993|
|Official name||El Pantanal Boliviano|
|Designated||17 September 2001|
Location of Pantanal in Brazil
Pantanal (South America)
The Pantanal is a huge, gently-sloped basin that receives runoff from the upland areas (the Planalto highlands) and slowly releases the water through the Paraguay River and tributaries. The formation is a result of the large, concave pre-Andean depression of the earth's crust, related to the Andean orogeny of the Tertiary. It constitutes an enormous internal river delta, in which several rivers flowing from the surrounding plateau merge, depositing their sediments and erosion residues, which have been filling, throughout the years, the large depression area of the Pantanal. This area is also one of the distinct physiographic provinces of the larger Parana-Paraguay Plain area.
The Pantanal is bounded by the Chiquitano dry forests to the west and northwest, by the Arid Chaco dry forests to the southwest, and the Humid Chaco to the south. The Cerrado savannas lie to the north, east and southeast. The Pantanal has an average yearly rainfall of 1,000–1,400 mm (39–55 in), but is fed by the upper Paraguay River. Its average temperature is 25 °C (77 °F), but temperatures can fluctuate from 0 to 40 °C (32 to 104 °F).
Floodplain ecosystems such as the Pantanal are defined by their seasonal inundation and desiccation. They shift between phases of standing water and phases of dry soil, when the water table can be well below the root region. Soils range from high levels of sand in higher areas to higher amounts of clay and silt in riverine areas.
Elevation of the Pantanal ranges from 80 to 150 m (260 to 490 ft) above sea level. Annual rainfall over the flood basin is between 1,000 and 1,500 mm (39 and 59 in), with most rainfall occurring between November and March. In the Paraguay River portion of the Pantanal, water levels rise between two meters to five meters seasonally; water fluctuations in other parts of the Pantanal are less than this. Flood waters tend to flow slowly (2 to 10 cm (0.79 to 3.94 in) per second) due to the low gradients and high resistance offered by the dense vegetation.
When rising river waters first contact previously dry soil, the waters become oxygen-depleted, rendering the water environs anoxic. Many natural fish kills can occur if there are no oxygenated water refuges available (the reason for this remains speculative: it may be due to the growth of toxin-producing bacteria in the deoxygenated water rather than as a direct result of lack of oxygen (McClain 2002)).
The vegetation of the Pantanal, often referred to as the "Pantanal complex", is a mixture of plant communities typical of a variety of surrounding biome regions: these include moist tropical Amazonian rainforest plants, semiarid woodland plants typical of northeast Brazil, Brazilian cerrado savanna plants and plants of the Chaco savannas of Bolivia and Paraguay. Forests usually occur at higher altitudes of the region, while grasslands cover the seasonally inundated areas. The key limiting factors for growth are inundation and, even more importantly, water-stress during the dry season.
According to Embrapa, approximately 2000 different plants have been identified in the Pantanal biome and classified according to their potential, with some presenting significant medicinal promise.
The Pantanal ecosystem is also thought to be home to 1000 bird species, 400 fish species, 300 mammalian species, 480 reptile species and over 9000 subspecies of invertebrates.
The apple snail is a keystone species in Pantanal's ecosystem. When the wetlands are flooded once a year, the grass and other plants will eventually die and start to decay. During this process, decomposing microbes deplete the shallow water of all oxygen, suffocating larger decomposers. Unlike other decomposing animals, the apple snails have both gills and lungs, making it possible for them to thrive in anoxic waters where they recycle the nutrients. To get oxygen, they extend a long snorkel to the water surface, pumping air into their lungs. This ability allows them to consume all the dead plant matter and turn it into nutritious fertilizer available for the plants in the area. The snails themselves are also food for a variety of animals.
Among the rarest animals to inhabit the wetland of the Pantanal are the marsh deer (Blastocerus dichotomus) and the giant river otter (Pteroneura brasiliensis). Parts of the Pantanal are also home to the following endangered or threatened species: the hyacinth macaw (Anodorhyncus hyacinthinus) (a bird endangered due to smuggling), the crowned solitary eagle, the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), the bush dog (Speothos venaticus), the South American tapir (Tapirus terrestris) and the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla). Common species in the Pantanal include the capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and the yacare caiman (Caiman yacare). According to 1996 data, there were 10 million caimans in the Pantanal, making it the highest concentration of crocodilians in the World. The Pantanal is home to one of the largest and healthiest jaguar (Panthera onca) populations on Earth.
Most fish are detritivores, primarily ingesting fine particles from sediments and plant surfaces. This is characteristic of fish living in South American flood-plains in general. Fish migration between river channels and flood-plain regions occurs seasonally. These fish have many adaptations that allow them to survive in the oxygen-depleted flood-plain waters.
In addition to the caiman, some of the reptiles that inhabit the Pantanal are the yellow anaconda (Eunectes notaeus), the gold tegu (Tupinambis teguixin), the red-footed tortoise (Geochelone carbonaria) and the green iguana (Iguana iguana).
The main human activities which threaten the Pantanal ecosystems are:
A portion of the Pantanal in Brazil has been protected as the Pantanal Matogrossense National Park. This 1,350 square kilometres (520 sq mi) park, established in September 1981, is located in the municipality of Poconé in the State of Mato Grosso, between the mouths of the Baía de São Marcos and the Gurupi Rivers. The park was designated a Ramsar Site of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention on May 24, 1993.
The SESC Pantanal Private Natural Heritage Reserve (Reserva Particular do Patrimonio Natural SESC Pantanal) is a privately owned reserve in Brazil, established in 1998 and 878.7 km2 (339.3 sq mi) in size. It is located in the north-eastern portion, known as "Poconé" Pantanal, not far from the Pantanal National Park. It is a mix of permanent rivers, seasonal streams, permanent and seasonal floodplain freshwater lakes, shrub-dominated wetlands and seasonally flooded forests, all dedicated to nature preservation, and was designated a Ramsar Site of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention.
Otuquis National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area is a national park of Bolivia in the Pantanal. The entrance to Otuquis National park is through the town of Puerto Suarez.
Arena Pantanal is a multi-use stadium in Cuiabá, Brazil. Completed on 26 April 2014, it is used mostly for football and hosted four group stage matches during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. During the World Cup, the arena had a capacity of 41,390, and currently can seat 44,003 spectators.
Prior to its use for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the venue received much criticism. It suffered a fire in October 2013, due to polystyrene insulation panels catching alight. Although nobody was injured, the fire came within 24 hours of the state governor of Mato Grosso warning that it may not be finished for the World Cup. On the day of its opening, on 24 April 2014, 5,000 seats were still to be installed in the stadium. Next to the football stadium is the Ginásio Aecim Tocantins.Big-headed pantanal swamp turtle
The big-headed pantanal swamp turtle or pantanal swamp turtle (Acanthochelys macrocephala) is a species of turtle in the Chelidae family found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay.Corumbá
For the mine of the same name and located in the state, see Corumbá (mine).Corumbá Portuguese pronunciation: [koɾũˈba] is a municipality in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, 425 km northwest of Campo Grande, the state's capital. It has a population of approximately 111,000 inhabitants, and its economy is based mainly on agriculture, animal husbandry, mineral extraction, and tourism, being the gateway to the biggest wetlands of the world, the Pantanal.
Corumbá International Airport connects it to many Brazilian cities and also operates some international flights. There is also another airport serving Corumbá indirectly: the Puerto Suárez International Airport, 20 km away from the center of the city of Corumbá. The city is one of the few Brazilian cities to be served by two international airports
Corumbá is the westernmost and northernmost city in Mato Gosso do Sul, and it is by far the largest municipality by area in that state, composing 18% of its territory. It is also the eleventh largest municipality in Brazil and the largest outside Amazonas and Pará.
The territory of Corumbá has an enclaved municipality within it: Ladário.Cuiabá
Cuiabá (Portuguese pronunciation: [kujaˈba]) is the capital city of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. It serves as the Geographical Centre of South America and forms the metropolitan area of the state, along with the neighbouring town of Várzea Grande.The city was founded in 1719, during the gold rush, it has been the state capital since 1818. The city is a trading centre for an extensive cattle-raising and agricultural area. The capital is among the fastest-growing cities in Brazil, followed by the growth of agribusiness in Mato Grosso, despite the recession that is affecting Brazilian industries.Cuiaba is the heart of an urban area that also includes the state's second largest city, Várzea Grande. Thermal electric and hydroelectric plants located in the area have been expanded since the completion of a natural gas pipeline from Bolivia in 2000. The city is the seat of the Federal University of Mato Grosso and the largest soccer stadium of the state, Arena Pantanal.The city is a rich mix of European, African and Native American influences and numerous museums reflect this. Cuiabá is also notable for its cuisine, dance, music and craftwork. Known as the "Southern gate to the Amazon", Cuiabá experiences a hot humid tropical climate. Cuiabá was one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.Flooded grasslands and savannas
Flooded grasslands and savannas is a terrestrial habitat type of the WWF biogeographical system, consisting of large expanses or complexes of flooded grasslands. These areas support numerous plants and animals adapted to the unique hydrologic regimes and soil conditions. Large congregations of migratory and resident waterbirds may be found in these regions. However, the relative importance of these habitat types for these birds as well as more vagile taxa typically varies as the availability of water and productivity annually and seasonally shifts among complexes of smaller and larger wetlands throughout a region.This habitat type is found on four of the continents on Earth. Some globally outstanding flooded savannas and grasslands occur in the Everglades, Pantanal, Sahelian flooded savannas, Zambezian flooded savannas, and the Sudd. The Everglades are the world’s largest rain-fed flooded grassland on a limestone substrate, and feature some 11,000 species of seed-bearing plants, 25 varieties of orchids, 300 bird species, and 150 fish species. The Pantanal, one of the largest continental wetlands on Earth, supports over 260 species of fish, 700 birds, 90 mammals, 160 reptiles, 45 amphibians, 1,000 butterflies, and 1,600 species of plants. The flooded savannas and grasslands are generally the largest complexes in each region.Hyacinth macaw
The hyacinth macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus), or hyacinthine macaw, or more commonly called the “Blue macaw” is a parrot native to central and eastern South America. With a length (from the top of its head to the tip of its long pointed tail) of about 100 cm (3.3 ft) it is longer than any other species of parrot. It is the largest macaw and the largest flying parrot species, though the flightless kakapo of New Zealand can outweigh it at up to 3.5 kg. While generally easily recognized, it could be confused with the smaller Lear's macaw. Habitat loss and the trapping of wild birds for the pet trade have taken a heavy toll on their population in the wild, so the species is classified as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List, and it is protected by its listing on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).Jabiru
The jabiru ( or ; Latin: Jabiru mycteria) is a large stork found in the Americas from Mexico to Argentina, except west of the Andes. It sometimes wanders into the United States, usually in Texas, but has been reported as far north as Mississippi. It is most common in the Pantanal region of Brazil and the Eastern Chaco region of Paraguay. It is the only member of the genus Jabiru. The name comes from a Tupi–Guaraní language and means "swollen neck".Large-billed tern
The large-billed tern (Phaetusa simplex) is a species of tern in the family Laridae. It belongs to the monotypic genus Phaetusa.
It is found in most of South America (east of the Andes and north of the Pampas). It has occurred as a vagrant in Aruba, Bermuda, Cuba, Panama and the United States.
Its natural habitats are rivers and freshwater lakes.
These birds are rarely found in the UK or in Canada, however, they do appear to enjoy flying individually.Marsh deer
The marsh deer (Blastocerus dichotomus) is the largest deer species from South America reaching a length of 2 m (6.6 ft) and a shoulder height of 1.2 m (3.9 ft). It is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. Formerly found in much of tropical and subtropical South America, it ranged east of the Andes, south from the Amazon rainforest, west of the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest and north of the Argentinian Pampa. Today it is largely reduced to isolated populations at marsh and lagoon zones in the Paraná, Paraguay, Araguaia and Guapore river basins. Small populations also occur in the southern Amazon, including Peru where protected in Bahuaja-Sonene National Park. It is listed as a vulnerable species by the IUCN and on CITES Appendix I.The latter half of its scientific name refers to the forked antlers. Marsh deer resemble the North American mule deer or blacktail deer.Mato Grosso
Mato Grosso (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈmatu ˈɡɾosu] – lit. "Thick Bushes") is one of the states of Brazil, the third largest by area, located in the western part of the country.Neighboring states (from west clockwise) are: Rondônia, Amazonas, Pará, Tocantins, Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul. The nation of Bolivia is located to the southwest. A state with a flat landscape that alternates between vast chapadas and plain areas, Mato Grosso contains three main ecosystems: the Cerrado, the Pantanal and the Amazon rainforest. Open pasture vegetation covers 40% of the state.
The Chapada dos Guimarães National Park, with caves, grottoes, tracks, and waterfalls, is one of its tourist attractions. In the north is the biodiverse Amazonian forest, which originally covered half of the state. Much of this has been disrupted and cleared for logging, agricultural purposes and pastures. The Xingu Indigenous Park and the Araguaia River are in Mato Grosso. Further south, the Pantanal, the world's largest wetland, is the habitat for nearly one thousand species of animals and many aquatic birds.Mato Grosso do Sul
Mato Grosso do Sul (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈmatu ˈɡɾosu du ˈsuw]) is one of the Midwestern states of Brazil. Its total area of 357,125 square kilometers, or 137,891 square miles, is roughly the same size as Germany.
Neighboring Brazilian states are (from north clockwise) Mato Grosso, Goiás, Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Paraná. It also borders the countries of Paraguay, to the southwest, and Bolivia, to the west. The economy of the state is largely based on agriculture and cattle-raising. Crossed in the south by the Tropic of Capricorn, Mato Grosso do Sul generally has a warm, sometimes hot, and humid climate, and is crossed by numerous tributaries of the Paraná River.
The state is also known for its natural environment, and is a destination for domestic and international tourism. The Pantanal lowlands cover 12 municipalities and presents a variety of flora and fauna, with forests, natural sand banks, savannahs, open pasture, fields and bushes. The city Bonito, in the mountain of Bodoquena, has prehistoric caves, natural rivers, waterfalls, swimming pools and the Blue Lake cave.
The name Mato Grosso do Sul is Portuguese for "Thick Bushes of the South"; the name is inherited from its northern neighbour state of Mato Grosso, of which it was part until the 1970s. It is not uncommon for people to mistakenly refer to Mato Grosso do Sul as simply "Mato Grosso". Other names that were proposed, at the time of the split and afterwards, include "Pantanal" (a reference to its best known geographical feature) and "Maracaju" (a reference to the Maracaju Mountain Range that crosses the state from north to south).Myracrodruon urundeuva
Myracrodruon urundeuva (Portuguese common names: aroeira-do-sertão, aroeira preta, urundeúva, urindeúva, arindeúva) is a timber tree, which is often used for beekeeping. This plant is native from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, and it is typical of Caatinga, Cerrado, and Pantanal vegetation in Brazil.Pantanal (TV series)
Pantanal is a Brazilian telenovela which originally aired from March 27, 1990 to December 10, 1990 at 9 P.M. on Rede Manchete. SBT re-aired the telenovela from June 9, 2008 to January 13, 2009. It was set on the Pantanal region.
Pantanal is one of the best known ecological or environmental telenovela, a small sub-category of the genre whose purpose is to dramatize, and hence raise audience awareness of environmental degradation. It was written by Benedito Ruy Barbosa and directed by Jayme Monjardim, Carlos Magalhães, Marcelo de Barreto, and Roberto Naar.Pantanal Linhas Aéreas
Pantanal Linhas Aéreas S.A. was a regional airline based in São Paulo, Brazil and incorporated by TAM Airlines in 2013. It served destinations mainly in the southeast region of Brazil from its bases at Congonhas and Guarulhos airports in São Paulo.Pantanal Matogrossense National Park
The Pantanal Matogrossense National Park (Portuguese: Parque Nacional do Pantanal Matogrossense) is a national park in the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.Pantanal cat
The Pantanal cat (Leopardus colocola braccatus) is a Pampas cat subspecies, a small wild cat native to South America. It is named after the Pantanal wetlands in central South America, where it inhabits mainly grassland, shrubland, savannas and deciduous forests.Plush-crested jay
The plush-crested jay (Cyanocorax chrysops) is a jay of the family Corvidae (which includes the crows and their many allies). It is found in central-southern South America: in southwestern Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and northeastern Argentina, including southern regions of the Amazon Basin river systems bordering the Pantanal.
This is an elegant medium-sized bird, dark plumaged with a cream-yellow breast; the bulky tail is also cream colored, top and underneath, for the lower half.South American jaguar
The South American jaguar is a jaguar (Panthera onca) population in South America. Though a number of subspecies of jaguar have been proposed for South America, morphological and genetic research did not reveal any evidence for subspecific differentiation.Yacare caiman
The yacare caiman (Caiman yacare), also known commonly as the jacare caiman, Paraguayan caiman, piranha caiman, red caiman, southern spectacled caiman, and jacaré in Portuguese, is a species of caiman, a crocodilian in the family Alligatoridae. The species is endemic to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay. Brown in color and covered with dark blotches, males grow to a total length (including tail) of 2–2.5 metres (6.6–8.2 ft) and females to 1.4 metres (4.6 ft). Typical habitats of this caiman include lakes, rivers, and wetlands. Its diet primarily consists of aquatic animals, such as snails, and occasionally land vertebrates. Mating occurs in the rainy season and eggs hatch in March, with young fending for themselves as soon as they hatch. The yacare caiman was hunted heavily for its skin to use for leather in the 1980s, which caused its population to decrease significantly. However, trading restrictions placed since have caused its population to increase. Its population in the Pantanal is about 10 million, and it is listed as least concern on the IUCN Red List.
World Heritage Sites in Brazil