In news– A team of scientists have warned that Pantanal wetland is at the risk of collapse due to a series of local and seemingly minor decisions that have failed to account for their cumulative impact on one of Earth’s most biodiverse ecosystems.
About the wetland-
- The Pantanal is a natural region encompassing the world’s largest tropical freshwater wetland area, and the world’s largest flooded grasslands.
- It is located mostly within the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, but it extends into Mato Grosso and portions of Bolivia and Paraguay.
- The formation of the wetland is a result of the large, concave pre-Andean depression of the earth’s crust, related to the Andean orogeny of the Tertiary.
- The Pantanal is bounded by the Chiquitano dry forests to the west and northwest, by the Arid Chaco dry forests to the southwest, and the Humid Chaco to the south.
- The Pantanal is a tropical wet and dry region with an average annual temperate of 21.5 °C and rainfall at 1,320 mm (52 cm in) a year.
- It spans over 179,000 sq km in Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia and boasts one of the highest concentration of flora and fauna in South America.
- Roughly 80% of the Pantanal floodplains are submerged during the rainy seasons.
- It receives runoff from the upland areas (the Planalto highlands) and slowly releases the water through the Paraguay River and tributaries.
- The vegetation of the Pantanal, often referred to as the “Pantanal complex”, is a mixture of plant communities typical of a variety of surrounding biome regions: these include moist tropical Amazonian rainforest plants, semiarid woodland plants typical of northeast Brazil, Brazilian cerrado savanna plants and plants of the Chaco savannas of Bolivia and Paraguay
- The Pantanal ecosystem is also thought to be home to 463 bird species, 269 fish species, more than 236 mammalian species, 141 reptile and amphibian species, and over 9,000 subspecies of invertebrates.
- The apple snail is a keystone species in Pantanal’s ecosystem.