brazil - The pantanal and the cerrado

Summer 2016

This trip to the PANTANAL and CERRADO of Brazil was one of the most interesting trips that I have taken.  Primarily a wildlife photography tour, we were introduced to a number of interesting Brazilian ecosystems.  While our photography centered on jaguars, macaws and giant anteaters one could not help but be immersed in the varied avian wildlife in the area.  We have Brazilian naturalists as our guides and were fortunate to have Gary Clark, a birder and naturalist from Houston, Texas as an integral part of our trip.  A birder, I am not.  That said, I learned so much from Gary and am grateful for his patience with this “heathen.” 

The PANTANAL 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 54,000 and 75,000 sq mi.

Roughly 80% of the Pantanal floodplains are submerged during the rainy seasons, nurturing an astonishing biologically diverse collection of aquatic plants and helping to support a dense array of animal species.

The name "Pantanal" comes from the Portuguese word pântano, meaning wetland, bog, swamp, quagmire or marsh.

The CERRADO  is a vast tropical savanna ecoregion of Brazil, particularly in the states of Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Tocantins and Minas Gerais. The Cerrado biome core areas are the plateaus in the center of Brazil.

The main habitat types of the Cerrado include: forest savanna, wooded savanna, park savanna and gramineous-woody savanna. Savanna wetlands and gallery forests are also included. The second largest of Brazil's major habitat types, after the Amazonian rainforest, the Cerrado accounts for a full 21 percent of the country's land area (extending marginally into Paraguay and Bolivia).

Click Image to Open Album