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Welcome to Fazenda Campo Lourdes in the Brazilian Pantanal region

I recently returned home from a 12 day Earthwatch volunteer expedition to the Pantanal region in Brazil, working on a bird, amphibian and reptile project.  There is no other place in the world like the Pantanal, a vast wetland wilderness in the heart of Brazil. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its abundant, diverse and highly visible wildlife, like capybaras, marsh deer, caiman, jabiru storks and hyacinth macaws. The flat, open landscape consists of a wide range of tropical forest, a variety of savanna areas, a complex river network and the largest expanse of tropical wetlands in the world.

Today, the Pantanal is faced with many threats and for this reason the Wildlife of Brazil’s Pantanal project was created to put the sustainability of the Pantanal within reach of concerned people from both the local population and the global community. This initiative brings communities and leading scientists together to conserve the largest expanse of tropical wetlands in the world.  The goal of the project is to help local farmers and communities understand the varied aspects of their ecosystem and to create sustainable management and conservation plans.


plan trip
Getting ready for the 30 minutes plane ride to Campo Lourdes from Aquidauana.  By road it takes 4 hours to cover 150km!


pantanls from above
The vast wetlands of the Pantanal region - the largest in the world.  The view from the plane


horses
The wild brumbies of Campo Lourdes


Fazenda Campo Lourdes
Fazenda Campo Lourdes - 5,500 hectare cattle ranch in Brazil's Pantanal region


campo lourdes
Thank goodness for the pool - ideal after a hot days work on the farm


barefoot cowboy
The barefoot cowboy.....a local tradition



cattle
Some of the many of Brahman cattle on Campo Lourdes.  There are 55 cattle for every person in the Pantanal



edson
This horse is being ridden for the first time - game!


bridge crossing
The rickety old bridge we would pass across 4 times a day...needless to say it needed some patch-up work


macaw
The hyacinth macaws just outside the dining room



spring is in the air
Spring time - the stunning pink bursting flowers  against the crystal clear blue sky


horst shed
The many rustic huts dotted around the ranch, either acting as a shed or housing for the cowboys


mist nets
Reggie, our fantastic Professor, removing a bird from the mist net


the view
Amazing views in all directions and so peaceful.  No mobile phones or internet - bliss



ticsk no way
Tape up tight to keep those damn ticks away - not a good look!


head down bum up
Collecting the frogs, lizards and snakes from the pit traps.


weighing a frog
Weighing the frogs we pulled from the traps


frog
One of the local frogs we found in the trap - a P. Fuscomaculatus to be precise!


sunset
Wow, what an amazing sunset


caimen
Another local keeping a close eye on us


pirania
Fishing for pirania to pass the time


storm is coming
Check out that storm coming towards us...it didn't cool things down though.  The average temperature was 39 degrees


sunset
Yet an another amazing sunset at Fazenda Santa Maria


sunday arvo
Sunday afternoon the cowboys head off to do some fishing - cool car!


breaking in the horses
Edson, one of the cowboys "breaking-in" a horse


bbq pantanal style
YUM - BBQ Pantanal style


edson
Clearing the river from the water lillies so the boat can get through.......the waters are alive with caiman, piranias , giant otters and stingrays!!


watching TV with the locals
Our last night in the Pantanal watching football: Brazil v Argentina.... can anyone spot the TV?



sunst

The end of another day in the remote, but tranquil paradise


 
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