Effects of Severe Floods and Droughts on Wildlife of the Pantanal Wetland (Brazil)—A Review
Graduate Program on Environment and Regional Development, Anhanguera-Uniderp University, Campo Grande, 79003-010, MS, Brazil
Embrapa Informática Agropecuária, CNPTIA, Campinas, 13083-886, SP, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 September 2012 / Revised: 25 September 2012 / Accepted: 9 October 2012 / Published: 18 October 2012
The Pantanal is a wetland in the center of South America, (140,000 km² in Brazil), in the Upper Paraguay River Basin. Because of its diverse and abundant wildlife, it is recognized as one of the most important freshwater ecosystems in the world. Many endangered species occur there, including jaguar; waterfowl are exceptionally abundant. Relief varies between the low, and flat floodplain, and the surrounding non-flooded plateau areas. Rainfall shows inter-annual variability, influencing the flooding patterns. Historical climate instability of severe multi-annual flood and dry events has affected animals’ habitats as well as their community structure, population size and behavioral ecology.