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Fauna in the Pantanal

Jaguar into the Pantanal

The Pantanal fauna is one of the richest in the world, both in variety and quantity and the sparse vegetation of the Pantanal eventually benefits the human visitor to further facilitate the observation of all this wildlife.

The extraordinary biodiversity of the Pantanal includes around 660 species of bird, 100 species of mammal, 160 species of reptile, 40 species of amphibian, over 260 species of fish and unknown numbers of insect species, among which were identified over a thousand different butterflies.
The Pantanal is one of the last refuges for a large variety of mammals that were once found in abundance scattered throughout South America such as the jaguar, the puma, the ocelot, the manned wolf, the tapir, the anteater, the giant otter, the capybara and many others.

Jabiru - simbol of the Pantanal

But however rich the Pantanal may be in mammals, when we focus our attention to birds, we reach other dimensions. For ornithologists, the Pantanal reveals itself as a true Eden where large numbers of birds of an incredible variety of species mark their constant presence. From the first rays of light in the early morning the air is filled with their songs, from the utmost harmonious and pure of some to the hoarse cries of others. All sizes of birds are abundantly represented, from the tiny hummingbird to the huge and majestic symbol animal of the Pantanal; the jabiru stork.

With more than 200 species represented, reptiles and amphibians ensure regular meetings with the Pantanal’s human visitor. Particularly the alligator characterizes the Pantanal’s landscapes. The mythical anaconda, though less abundant than the alligators, may often been seen on the river banks. The most watchful among us may discover beautiful iguanas, well camouflaged and hardly distinguishable from the tree foliage. Frogs and toads of all sizes and colours have found a true paradise in the Pantanal.

Jakaré fishing

Fish as well are abundant all over the Pantanal and impressively represented by more than 260 species. Due to flooding, the waters in the Pantanal are rich in nutrients and offer extremely favourable conditions for reproduction. Not surprisingly, fish forms the staple food for many of the Pantanal's animals.

Another huge food source for large numbers of animals are the insects, represented by an unimaginable variety of species and mostly little studied by science or simply unknown. Although not as visible as the birds, insects also know how to get attention, mainly at night, through high quality concerts in duet with the frogs and toads. During daytime, the many species of butterfly are all over the Pantanal and by the end of the flood season it is not uncommon to find thousands of them at a glance.

Whatever your reason for visiting, whether scientific, of any particular interest or simply out of love for nature, the Pantanal is undoubtedly one of the world's most beautiful and privileged places for wildlife observation!