Brazil is known to have some of the highest numbers of wildlife in any country in the world: the most mammals, highest primate diversity, and highest number of terrestrial vertebrates and invertebrates in general. A Brazil tour is sure to reveal an astonishing array of animals.
The Amazon region hosts the greatest biodiversity in the world, with 20% of the world's bird species living here. Travelers may expect to see several species of monkeys, and keep looking to the trees to see three-toed sloths. Tapirs and coatis run along the forest floor, along with the capybara, the world’s largest rodent. Travelers will most likely not see (or want to see) the majestic spotted jaguar, black jaguar, and ocelot that roam the Amazon. Some giant otters may be seen playing in the river itself, avoiding the prehistoric-looking caiman with whom they share the waters. This region is home to a long list of snakes (including the legendary anaconda), turtles and tortoises, and lizards.
Exotic birds inhabit the extensive canopy. Colorful parrots and macaws are abundant, and the species range from tiny hummingbirds to great eagles. Beautiful butterflies and other fascinating (some of them very large!) A fortunate birder may even spot a harpy eagle, the largest raptor in all the Americas and one of the largest eagles in the world.insects also inhabit the air in the Amazon.
The mata atlantica, or Atlantic forest, extends along the entire coast of Brazil from Recife south to Uruguay. This region includes a rich variety of forests, shrublands, and savannahs, as well as such a large number of endangered species that it has been declared a World Biosphere Reserve. Maned sloths and spider monkeys can be found only in the Atlantic forest.
Along the coast, dolphins are frequently sighted. An array of sea life completes the long list of wildlife that calls the vast country of Brazil their home. Fall is the whales’ calving season. From July through September, you can sometimes catch glimpses of whales with young calves from Santa Catarina island and some other southern parts of the Atlantic coast.
As one of the world’s largest wetland areas, the Pantanal’s exceptional biological diversity includes a wide variety of aquatic and semi-aquatic plants, as well as freshwater fauna such as the giant river otter. As many as 700 species of birds can be found in the Pantanal, including the yellow-headed caracara, jabiru stork, black vulture, macaws, heron, and horned screamer. The elusive Maned Wolf may be found here as well as the Great Anteater. Most of the birds, animals, and plants native to the Pantanal can be found nowhere else on earth.
Along the Uruguay border, pampas deer and pampas foxes peep out through the long grass of the Brazilian pampas. In this region alone, a sharp-eyed birder can add over 50 different birds to their life lists, including the rufescent tiger-heron and the elegant crested tinamou.
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