Sunday, 27 January 2019

January Indoor Meeting Review - James Lowen - Wildlife of the Pantanal
James Lowen

January Indoor Meeting Review - James Lowen - Wildlife of the Pantanal

The Pantanal, located mainly in Brazil with some overlap into Paraguay and Bolivia, is the largest contiguous wetland in the world. In a well-crafted and clearly-delivered presentation, wildlife- and travel-writer James Lowen took us through the variety of habitats to be explored in the Pantanal (wetland, savannah, forest and river), introducing the network of lodges that make eco-tourism a major resource for the region. Along the way, we were treated to some stunning photographs, credited to several photographers. For James, the Pantanal is among the best places in the world to go wildlife-watching, and this talk made a very good case for his enthusiasm.

The number of species - all types of wildlife, not just birds - is huge, and many creatures appear to be more approachable in the Pantanal than elsewhere. In markedly-different wet and dry seasons, wildlife gathers in large numbers around the isolated islands and pools respectively, congregations of caiman being particularly impressive. There are also rarer species, Pantanal specialities like the chestnut-bellied guan, limited to small sub-regions. And lots of colour brightened up a Cambridge January evening, from flowers, butterflies and especially birds - the subtle elegance of the capped heron and the brilliant head of the yellow-billed cardinal, among many excellent examples.

Tony Corps