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Pantanal Biosphere Reserve, Brazil

The Pantanal Biosphere Reserve comprises the States of Mato Grosso, Matto Grosso do Sul and a small portion of Goiás State. It covers the headwaters of the rivers that make up the Pantanal, one of the world’s most extensive wetland complexes, internationally known for its large bird, mammal, reptile, fish, insect and amphibian populations.

Designation date: 2000


Regional network: IberoMAB

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 25,156,905

    • Core area(s): 664,245 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 5,392,480 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 19,100,180 ha

    Location: 17°50'S; 56°40'W

    Administrative Authorities

    Laercio Machado de Sousa
    RB Pantanal BR Pantanal President / COBRAMAB Representative for NGOs

    Tel.: +55 67 9 9960 2666

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    Ecological Characteristics

    It encompasses both highlands and lowlands, from the large lakes on the border with Bolivia, flood plains, grasslands and highland cerrado in the ‘Chapada dos Guimarães’, ‘Serra de Santa Bárbara’ and ‘Urucum’ mountains, with summits of 1,000 metres above sea level. Other notable ecosystems within the Biosphere Reserve are the seasonally flooded cerrado, highland grasslands, seasonally flooded grasslands, cerradão (forest-like cerrado), deciduous forests, gallery forests, Buriti palm stands, Amazon like-forest, Atlantic Forest influenced forest, Chaco and Chaco Forest.




    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    There is a strong link between traditional rural human populations and the environment. More than 2,800,000 inhabitants (2001) live in the biosphere reserve. Extensive cattle grazing has been practized widely over most of the lowlands and has been the major economic activity since European colonization began. Ecotourism and recreational fishing are examples of sustainable natural resource use activities that has been strengthened since the biosphere reserve designation.





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    Last updated: February 2019