Brazilian Pantanal and its state of conservation

What is the state of conservation of the Brazilian Pantanal territory?

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Brazilian Pantanal and its state of conservation

What is the state of conservation of the Brazilian Pantanal territory? Most of the Pantanal is privately owned, but as long as livestock farming is carried out extensively, the risk is limited and the region is still relatively intact.

The project to build a waterway, which would serve to facilitate communications, the transport of goods and the generation of electricity, could instead completely change the ecosystem and lead to the disappearance of the Pantanal as it is now known.

In September 2001, a part of the Brazilian Pantanal, measuring only 1,350 square kilometers, became part of the Pantanal Matogrossense National Park. In Bolivian territory, the Otuquis National Park was established with a natural area of ​​integrated management and a total area of ​​just over 10,000 km².

In 2000, the Pantanal was included in the list of biosphere reserves and in that of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A portion of the Pantanal in Brazil has been protected as the Pantanal Matogrossense National Park. It 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.

Brazilian Pantanal

The Pantanal is the largest wetland in the world, an immense alluvial plain subject to periodic flooding; it is found in a central area of ​​South America located mostly in Brazil, in the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, and partly in Bolivia and Paraguay.

The WWF has identified it as one of the ecoregions of the planet, belonging to the biome of flooded grasslands and savannahs and recognized by the code NT0907. The Pantanal derives its name from the Portuguese word pântano, and extends for about 150,000 square km.

For nine months of the year, during and for some time after the rainy season, 80% of its surface is submerged by water. It is considered to be the ecosystem with the largest number of flora and fauna species in the world. It is very easy to spot the animals of this region: jaguars, caimans, capybaras, giant anteaters, anacondas and hundreds of different species of birds.

Very popular here is the red piranha. The inhabitants, the pantaneiros, have lived for generations in harmony with the wild nature of this place by raising cattle extensively. The roads that cross the Pantanal are 4: the Transpantaneira / Pocone-Porto Jofre, the Transpantaneira / Piquiri River, the Pantaneira Road and the Transpantaneira Road.