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  • Where to watch BIRDS and

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  • Photograph of Jaguar

    A magnificent Jaguar by Nick's Adventures Bolivia.

    THE PANTANAL - SOUTHERN BRAZIL









    Best Wildlife in the Pantanal

    Mammals
    Jaguar, Giant Anteater, Giant Otter, Brazilian Tapir, Capybara, Black-tailed (Bare-ear/Pantanal) Marmoset, Black Howler, Black-striped Tufted Capuchin, South American Coati, Crab-eating Fox, Marsh Deer, and Greater and Lesser Fishing Bats. Also a chance of Puma, Ocelot and Southern Tamandua.


    Photograph of Giant Anteater

    Giant Anteater by Jon Hornbuckle.


    Birds
    Hyacinth Macaw, Greater Rhea, Southern Screamer, Bare-faced Curassow, Chaco Chachalaca, Chestnut-bellied Guan, Blue-throated Piping Guan, Anhinga, Rufescent Tiger Heron, Agami, Boat-billed, Capped and Cocoi Herons, ibises including Plumbeous, Roseate Spoonbill, Jabiru, Black-collared Hawk, Grey-necked Wood Rail, Sungrebe, Sunbittern, Limpkin, Pied Plover, Wattled Jacana, Large-billed and Yellow-billed Terns, Black Skimmer, Golden-collared Macaw, Monk Parakeet, Nacunda Nighthawk, Great Potoo, White-tailed Goldenthroat, Glittering-throated Emerald, Blue-crowned Trogon, all five South American kingfishers, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Toco Toucan, White-wedged Piculet, Pale-crested, White and White-fronted Woodpeckers, Cinereous-breasted and White-lored Spinetails, Grey-crested (Rufous) Cacholote, Great Rufous Woodcreeper, Red-billed Scythebill, Great Antshrike, Black-bellied and Large-billed Antwrens, Mato Grosso Antbird, Subtropical Doradito, Stripe-necked Tody Tyrant, Rusty-fronted Tody Flycatcher, White-eyed Attila, White-naped Xenopsaris, Purplish Jay, Black-capped Donacobius, Scarlet-headed Blackbird, Orange-backed Troupial and Yellow-billed Cardinal. Also a chance of Zigzag Heron.


    Photograph of Toco Toucan

    Toco Toucan by Chris Townend.


    Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish
    Yacare Caiman. Also a chance of (Yellow) Anaconda.

    Best Sites for Wildlife in the Pantanal

  • The best sites include Pousada Piuval (drier, northern end, where possibilities include Zigzag Heron, Bare-faced Curassow and Chestnut-bellied Guan), Rio Claro Lodge (drier, northern end), Pouso Alegre (drier, northern end), Porto Jofre (where Band-tailed and Mato Grosso Antbirds occur along the hotel loop trail), South Wild Pantanal Lodge (formerly Pantanal Wildlife Center) next to Rio Pixaim, South Wild Jaguar Flotel on Rio Cuiaba, and Araras Ecolodge.
  • Best Times for Wildlife in the Pantanal and Southern Brazil

    The best time to look for Jaguars in the Pantanal is during Southern Brazil's dry season which normally lasts from July to October, especially August and September, although they are seen regularly at other times, often on river banks where they go to dry out after bad weather or lie in the shade during hot weather. Water levels in the Pantanal usually peak in February and begin to recede from mid-July onwards until the area is almost completely dry by the end of October. This period, especially September, is the best time for birds and some other wildlife, especially caiman, since they concentrate in huge numbers in and around the remaining waters. The maximum temperature in June-July is normally a relatively cool 30°C, but this rises to a peak of 40°C around mid-September.

    Recommended Books etc. for the Pantanal and Southern Brazil

    Bradt Travel Guide: Pantanal Wildlife by J Lowen. Bradt, 2010.

    Globetrotter Wildlife Guide: Brazil by J Malathronas. New Holland Publishers, 2008.

    Mammals of South America by R D Lord. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.

    Birds of Brazil by K Zimmer and A Whittaker. PUP, due 2016.

    A Field Guide to the Birds of Brazil by B van Perlo. OUP, 2009.

    Birds of Brazil: the Pantanal and Cerrado of Central Brazil by J A Gwynne et al. Comstock Publishing Associates, 2010.

    Birds of South America: Non-Passerines by J R Roderiguez Mata et al. Harper Collins, 2006.

    The Birds of South America: Passerines by R S Ridgely and G Tudor. University of Texas Press, 1989 and 1994 (Two volumes).


    Apps etc.

    Birds of Brazil.

    Where to watch birds in South America by N Wheatley. Helm, 1994.

    Don’t know which country/countries to visit in South America? Then it may be worth considering taking a look at this book, written by this website’s author. It is many years old of course but it still provides a starting point, an overview and a guiding light to the best birds and the best places to look for them on the continent, and could save hours of searching for similar information on the internet. However, it is important to check more up-to-date sources for sites which have been opened up, sites and species which have been discovered, lodges that have been built etc. since the book was published.

    Trip Reports for the Pantanal and Southern Brazil

    Many trip reports, some for Southern Brazil, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Southern Brazil. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Southern Brazil' below.

    Local Guides and Tours in the Pantanal and Southern Brazil

    The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.


    Accommodation in the Pantanal and Southern Brazil

    Some Organized Tours to the Pantanal and Southern Brazil

    There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.

    While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and people with partners with different interests. Individuals and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more than the price of an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.

    Tour companies who run organized tours or can arrange custom tours to Southern Brazil include the following.