GNF - Pantanal Wetlands

Pantanal Wetlands – Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay


Background Pantanal Wetlands

Covering a region of 140,000 sq. km, the Pantanal is world''s largest wetland. Greece for example measures 132,000 sq. km. During the rainy season, the Paraguay River and its tributaries inundate large areas. In the dry season the region turns into a savannah shimmering with heat. Green vegetation then can be found only in lake regions and river plains.


The great variety of large species is immense and comparable to that in Africa. Among them are the Spectacled Caiman, the Yellow Anaconda, the Plains Tapir, Jaguar, Rheas, White-necked Heron, Jabiru as well as huge flocks of waders and waterfowl from North America that winter in the Pantanal wetlands.

Early in the 18th century Brazilians raided the Pantanal to find gold and slaves. Infrastructure, European and American economic systems were introduced. Bushland and woods were set alight to make room for soy and sugar cane plantations both plants mainly being cultivated up to now. To increase the yields, pesticides and fertilisers are used. Ecotrópica, our partner organisation, is trying to persuade the farmers to stop the abuse of these substances, and shows them alternative methods.

Whole regions are contaminated by gold and diamond mining. Illegal hunting of particularly popular animals is another problem. Fortunately the fur-bearing ocelot and jaguar benefit from the international protection and surveillance. As the demand of croc handbags has declined, so the Spectacled Caiman has been given relief from danger. And the international awareness helps the Hyacinth macaw admired for its dazzling blue-violet feathers to survive.

More information about Pantanal

 Aerial photo of a part of the Pantanal Wetland
 Vegetation on the shoreline

Numerous Fires in the Pantanal Wetlands

Already since the beginning of August 2020, volunteers from our partner organization Fundação Ecotrópica have been setting an example against the fires in the world's largest inland wetland. In order to help the fauna and enable them to survive, so-called "feeding islands" with water and fruits are created. 


In these oases small and large animals find water and food, because their habitat was destroyed by the flames.


You too can support this valuable work of our partners in Brazil with an online donation.


In view of the situation in the Pantanal, the GNF and the Living Lakes Network call on the Brazilian government in an open letter of protest to take decisive action against the devastating slash-and-burn practice.


 Islands with water and fruits offer the animals a possibility for food intake in the burnt areas.


Partner Organisations Pantanal Wetlands



Ecotrópica Brazil

Contact person: Ilvanio Martins (President)

Rua 03, n° 391

Boa Esperança - 78.068-370

Cuiabá MT Brasil

Phone: +55 65 3052 6615



Instagram: @ecotropica


ECOA – Ecology and Action
Paula Isla Martins
Rua 14 de Julho
3169 - São Francisco, Campo Grande
Mato Grosso do Sul, 79002-332
Phone: +55 67 99604 0799

 ECOA – Ecology and Action

ECOA – Ecology and Action

ECOA – Ecology and Action is a non-governmental organization that was founded in 1989, in Campo Grande (MS, Brazil). The organization aims to promote actions to preserve the environment, combines scientific research and political action and involves communities, educational and research institutions, government institutions and other non-governmental organizations. They promote the environmental and economic sustainability of traditional activities at the Pantanal, such as the extraction of native species carried out by women from Pantanal in different regions; Work to contain destructive large infrastructure builds, such as waterways and hydroelectric plants; Promote the conservation of pollinating species; Permanent activities to combat big wildfires, working to form volunteer firefighters brigades.