Caimans, giant otters, jaguars, tapirs, giant anteaters, capybaras, hyacinth macaws and jabirus are just some of the many fascinating bird and animal species that make their home in the Pantanal, a huge, seasonally-flooded wetland in the middle of South America. The Pantanal covers 81,000 square miles, extending over parts of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay and is about half the size of California and 20 times larger than the Everglades, making it the largest wetland network on Earth. 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 incredible abundance and variety of 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 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 driving forces 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 the preservation of this truly magical place.
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