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The Pantanal is a mosaic of seasonally flooded wetlands, grasslands, and woodlands and represents optimal jaguar habitat. In 2000, the Pantanal was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site being home of the world largest tropical freshwater wetland fed by tributaries of the Paraguay River. It is located mainly in western Brazil’s states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul.

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 Depending on the year’s floods and drought, it is estimated to be 140,000 and 195,000 square kilometers (54,000-75,000 square miles). It was defined by RADAMBRAZIL in 1982 to contain 12 various sub-regional ecosystems each having their own hydrological, geological, and ecological characteristics.


Each year, around 80% of the Pantanal gets flooded during the rainy season (November-April), supporting an astounding biologically diverse collection of aquatic life which in turn helps support an enormous range of terrestrial life. Until now new flora and fauna are still being documented and studied in the Pantanal. There are approximately 3500 known plant species, 700 bird species, 265 fish species, 95 mammalian species, and 162 reptile species. Making the Pantanal a biological hot spot with the jaguar as the keystone species; playing an important role in regulating the ecosystem and its populations of prey species.

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