Cover image for Pantanal : South America's wetland jewel
Pantanal : South America's wetland jewel
Publication Information:
Richmond Hill, Ont. : Firefly Books, 2005.
Physical Description:
176 p. : col. ill., col. maps ; 30 cm.
Geographic Term:


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book Q 508.81 PAN 1 1
Book Q 508.81 PAN 1 1

On Order



A spectacular tour of the world's largest wetland.

The Pantanal covers 81,000 square miles in the middle of South America, extending over parts of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay.

About half the size of California and 20 times the size of the Everglades, the Pantanal flood plain is the largest wetland network on Earth.

Pantanal reveals the abundant wildlife and beauty of this remarkable eco-system, home to some of the most spectacular concentrations of flora and fauna on the planet.

The text explains the Pantanal's ecology, its people, plants and animals, presented in five chapters:

The Pantaneiro: People of the Pantanal Wetlands Grasslands Forests of the Pantanal Caiman: the comeback crocodile.

The book also examines the impact of deforestation, overfishing and overhunting in the Pantanal and the efforts by conservationists to protect this magnificent region for future generations.

Pantanal is a superbly photographed tour of one of the most memorable regions on the planet.

Author Notes

Theo Allofs is an award-winning wildlife and nature photographer, whose images regularly appear in Smithsonian , National Geographic , Outdoor Photographer , GEO and American Photo .

Russell A. Mittermeier is the president of Conservation International, of which all the authors are members.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

The Pantanal is the world's largest contiguous wetland on the planet and a region of resplendent biodiversity. Crossing the borders of Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay, this vast, swampy floodplain is home to magnificent wildlife, spectacular plants, and dramatic seasonal transformations. So prized is it as a reservoir for threatened species, much of the wetland is now protected. An informative overview of the Pantanal's natural and human history is provided by scientists with Conservation International (CI), an organization instrumental to the preservation of the region. Although commentary by Mittermeier, president of CI, and his contributors is more suited for research than pleasure reading, the photographs by famed wildlife photographer Allofs are radiant works of art worthy of prolonged contemplation. Patient, reverent, lucky, and gifted, Allofs captures the glory of the landscape in all its jewel-like hues while homing in on the Pantanal jaguar, giant river otter, elegant birds, capybaras, caimans, a giant anteater, and black howler monkeys. In all, this is a superb and memorable introduction to a place of exceptional beauty and ecological significance. --Donna Seaman Copyright 2005 Booklist



From the Introduction Home to some of the most spectacular concentrations of wildlife on Earth, the Pantanal region of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay is the world's largest contiguous wetland on the planet. Located between 16° and 22° South, and 55° and 58° West (see map page 7), it covers some 210,000 sq km. This area, about half the size of California, consists mainly of the low-altitude (average 80-180 m) floodplain of the Rio Paraguay and its tributaries, which drop off the Brazilian Cerrado, or planalto (central plateau). This huge, seasonally-flooded swampland is far more impressive and beautiful than any comparable region found elsewhere in the world. The Pantanal covers a vast expanse in the middle of South America. With an average width of 500 km, it stretches in a north-south direction some 950 km along the upper Rio Paraguay basin. It is bordered to the east by the savannahs and woodlands of the Brazilian Cerrado, extending as far as the Chapada dos Parecis; to the northwest by the semideciduous forests of the transition zone between Amazonia and the Cerrado; to the southwest by the Chaco formations (a wetland ecosystem of open vegetation and temperate climate) of Paraguay and Bolivia; and to the south by low-lying mountains, the Serras da Bodoquena and Maracajú. To the west, it gently undergoes a transition into the dry forests of extreme eastern Bolivia along the Serra do Amolar. Some 70 percent of the Pantanal lies within the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul (which accounts for 40 percent and 60 percent, respectively, of the Brazilian side), with the remaining land lying within Bolivia (20 percent) and Paraguay (10 percent). This enormous floodplain has been traditionally divided into subregions, based on history, soil type, vegetation, and its main rivers. Cáceres, Poconé, Barao de Melgaço, Paiaguás, Paraguai, Nhecolândia, Abobral, Aquidauana, Miranda, and Nabileque are some of the main Brazilian subregions. Excerpted from Pantanal: South America's Wetland Jewel All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Map of the Pantanal
ForewordGordon Moore
The Pantaneiro: People of the Pantanal
Wetlands: Life at the water's edge
Grasslands: Born of flood and drought
Forests of the Pantanal: Refuges in a flooded land
Caiman: Celebrating a comeback
The Authors