This photo-blog is designed to work either as a standard blog with images or - by clicking any image - a photo-album. To see an image in full resolution click to the left or right of an image in blog mode. The images were generated from video to give the best possible view of the journey.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wildlife on the Pantanal

Digital camera image from a sister blog of a bird catching a fish and an alligator transfixedly eyeing one another.
See our own panoramic image of a similar pair below.

The Pantanal is one of the best places to see Amazonian wildlife. Here the Rio Paraguai fans out and floods a vast alluvial plain in the wet season concentrating the wildlife as the dry season shrinks the flooded area. It is supposed to be the world's largest wetland, larger than France.

One inexpensive and easy way to see t least the northern edge of the Pantanal is to drive down the Transpantaneira, a desolate straight road that forms an unfinished link through the region, ending at Porto Jofre 145 km south of the portal town Pocone.

It is a sanctuary for many species of birds, giant river otters, anacondas, iguanas, jaguars, cougars, crocodiles, deer, anteaters, black howler monkeys and capybaras.

So in Cuiaba, we hired a car for the day and drove as far as we could into the Pantanal, and see it did give us the best close up views we had of wildlife on the whole journey.

Consolidating the road construction seems to have resulted in the formation of lagoons all along either side of the road in which wading birds from the great Tiuius to white and blue herons are packed alongside extraordinary numbers of crocodiles each staring at the other transfixed as if waiting for the moment the predator will strike and only by standing absolutely still does a large bid have a good chance of jumping out of the way at the slightest hint of a lunge of a big croc.

And yes we saw snakes, lizards, capybaras, stag and doe deer, as well as hordes of crocodiles and the most close up images of birds in the entire journey.

Coming into Pocone a charming quiet little town.

An ear-splitting grossly distorted evangelical sermon.

Entering the Pantanaal

Blue heron staring at a crocodile.

The two eyeing one another.

A whole bank of crocs.

Heath and Chris

There were bush fires large and small. Above is the undergrowth smouldering and bursting into flame, below shows the a very large fire inentionally set right beside a tract of tropical forest with a tractor driving through completely unconcerned at the potential for the fire to spread, or even hoping it will.

Image of the Pantanal from the air (Wikimedia commons)

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