Pantanal – Summary
The Pantanal is the world’s largest wetland area. The change of wet and dry season developed a huge variety of wildlife.
Mato Grosso is the third largest state in Brazil with more than 900,000 km2 and within area are found three great and distinct eco-systems: Savannah or Scrubland, dominates the whole of the Brazilian Central Plateau and adjacent areas; the Amazon Forest, situated in the north of the state, where one of the largest indigenous reserves of the country is situated – the Xingu National Park – and, finally, to the southwest of the state is found the immense sedimentary plain part of the Silver (Platina) Basin, the Matogrossense Pantanal, a fascinating ecological sanctuary.
Cuiabá, the capital of the state founded at the begining of the 18th century as a consequence of mining, is located at the geodesic center of South America. Strategically positioned at the convergence of three biosphere (Savannah, Amazon and Pantanal), makes it the best starting point for expeditions to any of these fantastic and fascinating worlds.
The Pantanal of Mato Grosso is an extensive plain of approximately 230,000 km2 and its area occupies territory of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay in the heart of South America. This sedimentary plain is still undergoing geological formation and so is influenced by its two cycles. During the wet season (November to April), the region is flooded as a consequence of the overflowing of its numerous waterways (rivers, lakes and streams) which form the Silver Basin: this is the time of an explosion of colours in the rich flora. The animals, especially the mammals, look for capões – wooded mounds- where they shelter during this period. In the dry season (May to October), the region presents small lakes, many of which are perennial, which constitute the food source for a great variety of animals including migratory birds form various parts of the Planet.
Approximately 700 species of birds; 100 of mammals; 80 of reptiles; 240 of fish as well as a great number of invertebrates still not classified, constitute the richest variety of fauna to be found in the Americas. On the edge of the Brazilian Central Plateau stands the mystical Chapada dos Guimarães, a region of peculiar topography, at an altitude of 650m. Rock formations of various geological era and fossils of marine deposits from the Devonian Period, as well as reptiles from the Mesozoic Period, illustrate the various geolocial phases this region has been through.Situated at a point equidistant from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and being the watershed between the Amazon and Silver Basins, the region was used by the paleoindians during their wanderings through South America, leaving various marks as well as the remains found in the archeological sites.
One of the most majestical emergent rock formations in the World is today the source of various rivers which, descending in waterfalls, find their way into the Pantanal.