The Pantanal: Earthly Paradise


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Interview with Reggie Donatelli (4:20)

Reginaldo Donatelli Interview


Well, we are in a terrestrial paradise called Pantanal, A special place that is a place to be visited by everyone who loves nature in general.

Pantanal is one of the biggest wetlands on earth. Half of the year Pantanal is flooded, and half of the year it is dry. So it makes so special because the landscape, the whole Pantanal changes twice a year for the last 100 of years. (bird call in background) We just heard the buff-necked Ibis – one of the most popular birds in the Pantanal.  Pantanal is in the southwest part of South America, and in the west part of Brazil. It’s surrounded by rivers. The two main rivers that surround the Pantanal are the Paraguay River and the Paraná Rivers, the main rivers. There are so many crossings between these two.

Now, we are in the wet season, characterized by rains. Everyday it rains. This time of the year, we see many kinds of animals. Animals are fantastic in the whole Pantanal. There are so many different species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and lots of species fishes. This part of the year, we see many species of birds, including 3 or 4 species of Ibis, including at least 2 different species of vultures. At least 4 species of Kingfishers, and so on of birds. The whole Pantanal we have about 700 species of birds.

I study diversity among different habitats in the Pantanal. For instance, we have 6 different kinds of habitats where I study birds. So, one of these is gallery Forest, another is grasslands, another is river, another is the cerrado and so on. Cerrado is a dry forest area. Gallery forest is the wet forest. I’m comparing the diversity of birds among each habitat along the year and comparing the diversity of each habitat itself among the two main seasons in the Pantanal. For instance, I compare the diversity of the gallery forests birds in dry season and the same thing in the wet season. And I compare the wet season the gallery forest and other habitats in terms of diversity of birds. In general, what I’ve been finding is that there is such a specific diversity for each habitat, it doesn’t matter the season you are considering. That means each habitat has its own importance. Its own set of diversity, in terms of birds. So, they’re all important for wildlife.

In the last five years they wanted to change the Paraguay River to, to increase the waters, so the Paraguay River will be ready for navigation. Because increasing the basin of the Paraguay River would send all the water from all parts of the Pantanal to this basin, the bottom of the Pantanal. The river carries life, so if you change the way life is carried, everything will change.  A whole system will change.