Facts

  • The biggest snake in the Pantanal is the yellow anaconda. It measures up to 4.5 metres in length and feeds upon fish, birds and small mammals.
  • The jabiru stork, the flagship species of the Pantanal, has a wingspan of more than 2 metres.
  • The Pantanal (spectacled) caiman is 2.5 metres long and feeds mostly upon fish.
  • The biggest fish in the Pantanal is the jaú, a gigantic catfish which measures up to 1.5 metres in length and weighs up 120 kg.
  • The Pantanal has an enormous level of higher-plant species diversity, having 1647 species of trees and shrubs and a high diversity of fauna: 263 species of fish, 122 species of mammal, 93 species of reptile, 1132 species of butterfly and 656 species of birds.
  • The annual flooding by the region’s rivers affects about 80% of the Pantanal and transforms the region into an impressive sheet of water, displacing a part of the rural population which migrates temporarily to surrounding towns and villages.
  • The Pantanal attracts about 700 thousand tourists a year, of which about 65% come for the fishing.
  • The Pantanal is equivalent to the total area of four European countries – Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal and Holland.
  • The Jaguar can weigh up to 150 kg and feeds on approximately 85 species of animal that live in the region.
  • The Brazilian Pantanal is a 144,294 km2 flood plain, 61.9% of which (89.318 km2) lies in Mato Grosso do Sul and 38.1% (54,976 km2) in Mato Grosso.
  • In the year 2,000, the Pantanal, as a biome, was recognised as a World Biosphere Reserve. Such declarations made by UNESCO, are instrumental to the integrated sustainable management and administration of these reserves which remain under the jurisdiction of the countries in which they are found.
  • The periodic flooding of the Pantanal is partly due to its low-lying level. Apart from this, the relief causes the Rio Paraguay to run very slowly. A canoe would take about six months to cross the Pantanal.
  • Every 24 hours, about 178 billion litres of water flow into the Pantanal.
  • There are more species of birds in the Pantanal (656) than in the whole of North America (about 500), and more species of fish than in Europe (263 in the Pantanal compared with approximately 200 in European rivers).

Source: wwf.org