Pantanal 2007

After attending the PRIMO 14 conference on the Santa Catarina Island near Florianópolis in Southern Brazil, I traveled with a friend to the Pantanal region. We flew from Florianópolis via São Paulo to Cuiabá. Cuiabá is the capital city of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. It serves as the Geographical Centre of South America and forms the metropolitan area of the state, along with the neighboring town of Várzea Grande, with a joint population of about 1 million.

After being picked up at the airport, we traveled south from Cuiabá through Pocone and onto the Transpantaneira road to Pousada Piuval in the Pantanal, where we spent a few nights. Here we went for some hikes, did horseback riding, went on a piranha fishing trip and had a driving night safari along the Transpantaneira road. Thereafter we traveled to Pousada Canto do Arancuã (looks like it is closed now) for another few nights. At the second lodge we did horseback riding, went for a fishing trip in a nearby river, and a hike in one evening. After the Pantanal floodplains, we headed back to Cuiabá and north to Chapada dos Guimarães, a small town situated 62 km north of Cuiabá. Outside this town is the geographic center of South America. Here we stayed one night at Hotel Turismo. Chapada dos Guimarães municipality is home to the Chapada dos Guimarães National Park, and we visited this park the final day.

The Pantanal region is world famous for it's rich wildlife, especially for the bird fauna. Pantanal is covering an area with a size of about half of France, with vast wetland and marsh habitats. Roughly 80% of the Pantanal floodplains are submerged under water in the wet season. The Pantanal ecosystem is home to some 463 bird species, 269 fish species, more than 236 mammalian species, 141 reptile and amphibian species, and over 9,000 subspecies of invertebrates. In addition, approximately 2,000 different plants have been identified in the Pantanal ecosystem. More information about Pantanal can be found at here. A trip to Pantanal is highly recommended.

Werner Piper, Germany, is thanked for help with naming the dragonfly species.


The Pantanal team

Cuiabá, the capital city of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso


Church in Pocone (Cidade de Poconé)

Transpantaneira road through the Pantanal


Pousada Piuval entrance road - Estr. Transpantaneira - Zona Rural, Poconé - State of Mato Grosso, Brazil

Pousada Piuval, Pantanal, Brazil


Pousada Piuval floodplain

Flooded Pantanal landscape


Stream near Pousada Piuval

Pousada Piuval


Pousada Piuval

Horseback riding at Pousada Piuval


Horseback riding at Pousada Piuval

Comparing teeth. With meat as bait, we caught plenty of piranha


Prianha fishing trip

There are three species of piranha in Pantanal. This is the Red-bellied Piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri)


We were accompanied by four British medical students at both lodges

Striated Heron (Butorides striatus)


Jabiru Stork (Jabiru maguari)

The largest toucan species, the Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco albogularis)


Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacintinus)

Nest of the Crested Oropendola (Psarocolius decumanus)


Jabiru Stork nest

Amazon Kingfisher (Chloroceryle amazona)


Buff-necked Ibis (Theristicus caudatus)

Blue-crowned Motmot, now called Amazonian Motmot (Momotus momota)


Smooth-billed Ani (Crotophaga ani)

Chalk-browed Mockingbird (Mimus saturninus)


Cocoi Heron (Ardea cocoi)

Yellow-headed Caracara (Milvago chimachima)


Southern Caracara (Caracara plancus)

Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis)


Snail Kite

Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)


Monk Parakeet

Peach-fronted Parakeet (Aratinga aurea)


Guira Cuckoo (Guira guira)

Campo Flicker (Colaptes campestris)


Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)

Two cuckoos, the Guira Cuckoo and the Smooth-billed Ani


Maybe an Amazon Lava Lizard (Tropidurus torquatus)

Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola)


Plumbeous Ibis (Theristicus acudatus)

Poor image of a Pale-crested Woodpecker (Celeus lugubris)


Common Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)

Yucare Caiman (Caiman yucare)


Yucare Caiman youngster

Capped Heron (Pilherodius pileatus)


Rufescent Tiger-heron (Tigrisoma lineatum)

Night-safari - Poor photo of a Common Potoo (Nyctibius griseus)


Azara's Agouti (Dasyprocta azarae)

Night-safari - Southern Tamandua, also called Collared Anteater (Tamandua tetradactyla)


Night-safari - Southern Tamandua

Black-striped Capuchin (Sapajus libidinosus)


Pantanal is home to three species of capuchin monkeys. I think this is the Black-striped Capuchin

Black-striped Capuchin monkey


Termite "highways" on a tree)

Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris)


Night-safari - Capybara

Nandu or Greater Rhea (Rhea americana)


Great Kiskadee (Philohydor lictor)

Wattled Jacana (Jacana jacana)


Purplish Jay (Cyanocorax cyanomelas)

Savannah Hawk (Buteogallus meridionalis)


Fly-fishing, Pousada Canto do Arancuã


Pousada Canto do Arancuã


Maybe Amazon Freshwater Crab (Dilocarcinus pagei)

Fishing expedition, at Pousada Canto do Arancuã


Pousada Canto do Arancuã

Flyfishing in a river near Pousada Canto do Arancuã


Rowing boat trip

Catch of the day, an Oscar (Astronotus ocellatus)


Pantanal river

Termit team out bush-walking


Maybe Inga edulis, known as ice cream-bean

Transpantaneira waterhole, with beer and coconut


Transpantaneira roadside restaurant

Oversized bug, a Giant Water Bug (Lethocerus maximus), one of the world's largest insects, Pantanal


Orthemis discolor, Chapada dos Guimarães National Park

Erythrodiplax male dragonfly, Chapada dos Guimarães National Park


Erythrodiplax female, Chapada dos Guimarães National Park

Tableland landscape, Chapada dos Guimarães National Park


Véu da Noiva waterfall in Chapada dos Guimarães National Park

Chapada dos Guimarães National Park


Chapada dos Guimarães National Park

A Argante Giant Sulphur (Phoebis argante) butterfly, Chapada dos Guimarães National Park


Cachoeira Dos Namorados, Chapada dos Guimarães National Park

Maybe a Cururu Toad (Rhinella diptycha) in Pantanal


South American Coati (Nasua nasua), Campeche Island (Ilha do Campeche)


Common name
Scientific name
  Fisher Bat Noctilionidae leporinus
  Bat species
  Black Howler Monkey Allouatta caraya
  Black-capped Capuchin Monkey Cebus apella
  Marmoset Monkey Callithrix (Cebuella) pygmaea
  Collared Anteater Tamandua tetradactyla
  South American Coati Nasua nasua
  Pampas Deer Ozotocerus bezoarticus
  Red-brocket Deer Mazama americana
  Capybara Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris
  Brazilian Rabbit Sylvilagus brasiliensis


Common name
Scientific name
  Caiman Cayman crocodilus yacare
  Collared Lizard Tropidurus torquatus
  Snake unidentified




Preliminary bird list - Santa Catarina Island (SCI) and Pantanal (P)

Common name
Scientific name
Greater Rhea Rhea americana
Neotropic Cormorant (P) Phalacrocorax olivaceus
American Anhinga (P) Anhinga anhinga
Cocoi Heron (P) Ardea cocoi
Great Egret (P) Ardea alba
Snowy Egret (P) Egretta thula
Capped Heron (P) Pilherodius pileatus
Cattle Egret (P) Bubulcus ibis
Rufescent Tiger-heron (P) Tigrisoma lineatum
Fasciated Tiger-heron (P) Tigrisoma fasciatum
Whistling Heron (P) Syrigma sibilatrix
Striated Heron (P) Butorides striatus
Black-crowned Night-heron (P) Nycticorax nicticorax
Little Blue Heron (P) Egretta caerulea
Limkin (P) Aramus guarauna
Jabiru Stork (P) Jabiru mycvteria
American Wood Stork (P) Mycteria americana
Plumbeous Ibis (P) Theristicus acudatus
Buff-necked Ibis (P) Theristicus caerulescens
Bare-faced Ibis (P) Phimosus infuscatus
Green Ibis (P) Mesembrinibis cayennensis
Roseate Spoonbill (P) Platalea ajaja
Southern Screamer (P) Chauna torquata
Black-bellied Whistling Duck (P) Dendrocygna autumnalis
Brazilian Duck (P) Amazonetta brasiliensis
Black Vulture (SCI, P) Coragypus atratus
Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture (P) Cathartes burrovianus
Turkey Vulture (SCI, P) Cathartes aura
Snail Kite (P) Rosthramus sociabilis
Black-collared Hawk (P) Busarellus nigricollis
Savannah Hawk (P) Heterospizias meridionalis
Black Hawk-Eagle (P) Spizaetus tyrannus
Southern Caracara (P) Polyborus plancus
Yellow-headed Caracara (P) Milvago chimachima
Roadside Hawk (P) Buteo magnirostris
Bat Falcon (P) Falco rufigularis
Spix 's Guan (P) Penelope superficiliaris
Blue-throated Piping Guan ( (P) Pipile cumanensis
Chaco Chachalaca (P) Ortalis canicollis
Rusty-margined Guan (P) Penelope superciliaris
Bare-faced Curassow (P) Crax fasciolata
Grey-necked Wood Rail (P) Aramides cajaneus
White-backed Stilt (P) Himantopus melanurus
Red-legged Seriema (P) Cariama cristata
Wattled Jacana (P) Jacana jacana
Southern Lapwing (P) Vanellus chilensis
Pied Lapwing (P) Hoploxypterus cayanus
White-tipped Dove (P) Leptotila verreauxi
Scaled Dove (P) Columbina squammata
Ruddy Ground Dove ( (P) Columbina talpacoti
Picazuro Pigeon (P) Patagioenas picazuro
Blue and Yellow Macaw (P) Ara ararauna
Red and Green Macaw (P) Ara chloropterus
Hyacinth Macaw (P) Anodorhynchus hyacintinus
Peach-fronted Parakeet Aratinga aurea
Turquoise-fronted Parrot (P) Amazona aestiva
Monk Parakeet (P) Myiopsitta monachus
Smooth-billed Ani (P) Crotophaga ani
Guira Cockoo (P) Guira guira
Squirrel Cuckoo (P) Piaya cayana
Burrowing Owl (P) Speotyto cubicularia
Nacunda Nighthawk (P) Chordeiles nacunda
Common Potoo (P) Nyctibius griseus
Ringed Kingfisher (P) Ceryle torquata
Amazon Kingfisher (P) Chloroceryle amazonia
Green Kingfisher (P) Chloroceryle americana
Black-fronted Nunbird (P) Monasa nigrifrons
Toco Toucan (P) Ramphastos toco
Amazonian Motmot (P) Momotus momota
Rufous-capped Motmot (P) Baryphthengus ruficapillus
Chestnut-eared Aracari (P) Pteroglossus castanotis
Campo Flicker (P) Colaptes camestris
Pale-crested Woodpecker (P) Celeus lugubris
White Woodpecker (P) Melanerpes candidus
Narrow-billed Woodcreaper (P) Lepidocolaptes angustirostris
Rufous Cacholote (P) Pseudoseisura cristata
Mato Grosso Antbird (P) Cercomacra melanaria
Great Kiskadee (SCI,P) Pitangus sulphuratus
Lesser Kiskadee (P) Pitangus lictor
Purplish Jay (P) Cyanocorax cyanomelas
Scarlet-headed Blackbird (P) Amblyramphus holosericeus
Crested Oropendola (P) Psarocolius decumanus
Red-crested Cardinal (P) Paroaria coronata
Yellow-billed Cardinal (P) Paroaria capitata
Saffron Finch (P) Sicalis flaveola
Wren species? (P)
Brown Booby (SCI) Sula leucogaster
Chalk-browed Mockingbird (P) Mimus saturninus
White-winged Swallow (P) Tachycineta albiventer
Magnificent Frigatebird (SCI) Fregata magnificens
Kelp Gull (SCI) Larus dominicanus
Giant Cowbird (P) Molothrus oryzivorus
South American Tern (SCI) Sterna hirundinacea
American Oystercatcher (SCI) Haematopus palliatus


Pantanal region near Cuiabá