Wildlife Holidays in Brazil

Sendero mis amores
"… Tordilho como as melenas
encanecidas de um taita,
o oitavo dos meus pingos
gostava de um som de gaita…
Depois tive um alazão,
lindo como flor singela,
nos ranchos ‘que’ eu não chegava
vinham me olhar da cancela…"

Fragmento de "Treze fletes", de Mauro Moraes
Esteio, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil

Dear friends, please, visit www.berega.com.br
By Eduardo Amorim on 2009-08-30 15:25:23
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To say that Brazil is big is an understatement, it is huge! And much of what covers this vast country is the Amazon Rainforest, which covers over a billion acres, provides 20% of the world’s oxygen and if it was its own country would be the 9th biggest in the world! Whilst the Amazon rainforest also covers Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Surinam and French Guiana, it is Brazil which takes the lions share with 60% of the Amazon Rainforest falling within its borders. The fact that this is the case lends another reason to the many that exist already as to why numerous people choose to take their holidays in Brazil; the sheer amount of flora and fauna on offer!

The Amazon Rainforest is called home by at least 40,000 plant species, 3,000 fish, 1,294 birds, 378 reptiles, 427 amphibians and 427 mammals, not to mention the 2.5 million different species of insects! And 33% of all known species in the world can be found in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest. Thus any holidays to this area of Brazil offer the chance for visitors to gain a real insight into the biological diversity that the world contains.

There are many options for people taking wildlife holidays in Brazil but perhaps the best are to go stay at some of the many lodges that exist within the rainforest. From these bases in the jungle, visitors can venture out on guided tours of the rainforest whereby they can expect to see a variety of the flora and fauna on offer, including many sadly endangered species. One of the main benefits of staying at a lodge is the expert knowledge on offer from the guides that work at them. Not only can you expect them to expertly guide you through the jungle and show you what others might miss, but you can also expect to learn much about the many species that exist here, such as the medicinal qualities of many of the plants, as well as learning about the threats that the rainforest ecosystem faces.

While the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest might be the largest ecosystem in Brazil, this is not to say that it is the only place worth a look-in by those on their wildlife holidays. Brazil, being the large country that it is, has many other ecosystems that offer a level of biodiversity to equal that of the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest and, in the case of the Atlantic Rainforest, to even beat the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest to the accolade of having the highest level of biodiversity in Brazil.

One such area of Brazil where those on wildlife holidays may like to visit is an area known as the Patanal Conservation Area, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Pantanal is the largest wetland in the world and the fact that 80% of its flood plains are submerged in the rainy season means that there is an astonishing amount of diversity of thriving aquatic plant life here which in turn supports a wide spectrum of different species of animals. Some of the animals that one can expect to see here include Marsh Deer and Giant River Otters along with endangered species such as the Hyacinth Macaw, the Crowned Solitary Eagle and the Giant Anteater. It is also the case that the Patanal is known to support one of the largest and healthiest Jaguar populations in the world, a great thing considering these majestic cats are endangered.

Another area worth a visit and one that many wildlife fans would argue even more worthy than the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest of going to is the Atlantic Rainforest. The Atlantic Rainforest is classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as a World Biosphere Reserve and anyone who visits on their Brazil holidays can expect to see many endangered species here such as Marmosets, Woolly Spider Monkeys and Lion Tamarins. The geography of this rainforest lends it an extremely high level of biodiversity. Whilst the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest covers a larger area of land, the way the land lies and the variation of temperature changes minimally over its vast expanse and so the forest appears similar wherever you are in it. However, the Atlantic Rainforest extends from sea-level, at the coast, into the mountains and, being further away from the Equator than the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest, it sees more temperature variation from north to south. Because of this it exhibits many areas of different types of forest within it, all with their own unique attributes and species.

It is clear then that Brazil offers anyone looking to depart on any wildlife holidays a real diverse experience.