Brazil designates two remarkable wetlands in the Amazon basin and the Pantanal

Brazil designates two remarkable wetlands in the Amazon basin and the Pantanal

8 January 2019

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Rio Juruá

Brazil has designated two new Wetlands of International Importance: Rio Juruá, the most important tributary system of the Solimões River basin in the upper Amazon, and Taiamã Ecological Station, its third Ramsar Site in the Pantanal.

The two new Ramsar Sites together cover an area of almost 2.15 million hectares, and with these designations, Brazil now has 27 wetlands included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance covering almost 26.8 million hectares.

Rio Juruá (Ramsar Site no. 2362), located in the upper Amazon basin, includes a complex system of rivers, canals, lakes, seasonal rivers and floodplain forests. It provides habitat to endemic species such as the fulvous-chinned nunlet (Nonnula sclateri) and the bamboo antshrike (Cymbilaimus sanctaemariae). The Site also provides habitat to threatened species such as the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla); the South American manatee (Trichechus inunguis); the lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) and the white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari).

Rio Juruá provides important ecosystem services to more than 130,000 people, varying from provision of food, fresh water and genetic materials, to regulating and cultural services such as protection against erosion, recreation and education activities. The main actual threats to the Site relate to its unsustainable use for logging and hunting.

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Taiamã Ecological Station

Taiamã Ecological Station (Site no. 2363) is located in the core area of one of the largest wetlands on the planet, the Pantanal. The Site consists of several rare and representative swamps and marshes known for their extraordinary wildlife, and particularly their fish and birds. One hundred and thirty-one fish species have been identified in the rivers that border the Site, and 237 bird species have been recorded. The rich biodiversity includes populations of threatened species such as the vulnerable marsh deer (Blastocerus dichotomus) and the endangered giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis).

The Site provides ecosystem services to more than 2,000 people, varying from food provision, maintenance of hydrological regimes and nutrient cycling, to recreation, tourism and scientific activities within the Station. Fire is a potential threat.