Author(s): Theo Allofs
At more than twenty times the size of North America's Everglades, the Brazilian Pantanal is the world's largest wetland and a wilderness area of international significance. Caimans, giant otters, jaguars, tapirs, giant anteaters, capybaras, hyacinth macaws and jabirus are just some of the many bird and animal species that make their home in the Pantanal. With some of the most spectacular concentrations of wildlife on Earth, and rare and endangered species almost impossible to see elsewhere, the Pantanal is rapidly gaining worldwide recognition as a must visit wilderness region. The abundance and variety of the animal life and the unique cowboy culture of the Pantaneiros, the people of the Pantanal, have been captured through Theo Allofs' superb photography. The accompanying text is written by the scientists of Conservation International, who have for many years been studying the Pantanal and working to promote and protect its great diversity, beauty and long-term potential. The key elements of the Pantanal ecosystem are described, including the annual cycle of flood and drought that has created its mosaic of forests, grasslands, wetlands and rivers. The history of the Pantaneiros and the issues raised by increasing development in and around the region are also discussed, along with conservation initiatives undertaken by Conservation International and others to ensure this special place is preserved.