Ongoing & Future
The Pantanal is a mosaic of seasonally flooded wetland, grasslands, and woodlands that represents optimal jaguar habitat. In 2000, the Pantanal was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, being home to the world's largest freshwater wetland that is fed by tributaries of the Paraguay River. It is located mainly in western Brazil’s states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul. Depending on the year’s floods and droughts, 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.
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. New flora and fauna species 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 apex or keystone species; playing an important role in regulating the populations of prey species.