Habitats and Wildlife of Brazil
What does the word Brazil conjure up? World Cup, Carnival, Copacabana Beach, Christ the Redeemer? Now think Barbara and Peter Murphy, our presenters. Think bio-diversity, lungs of the world, Amazon rainforest, Pantanal, Cerrado, Atlantic Rain Forest. Think toucans, hummingbirds, Sun bittern and Hyacinth macaws. Imagine you’ve just packed your camera away and suddenly there’s a jaguar swimming across the river. You frantically unearth the camera and achieve wonderful, blurry photos of a spotted rear end disappearing up a sand bank.
Now imagine sitting on the steps of a musty old monastery in the Cerrado (one of Brazil’s four main wildlife habitats). A monk appears. He chucks a lump of meat down the steps. Silence. The onlookers wait. A long-legged golden-red thing appears and grabs the meat. A sigh of pleasure goes up. A maned wolf. The rarest canid in the world. Now think Blue morph butterfly with a possible 8” wing span, Bushmaster snake (rarely seen but deadly) vast numbers of endemic amphibians.
Sadly, now think deforestation, think clearance of the Cerrado. Spaces to grow more soya to feed more cattle to produce more methane in place of the oxygen exhaled by the trees. End your virtual trip by thinking of more positive developments: wetlands being restored, 40,000 trees a year being planted in the Atlantic rain forest and wildlife corridors being created.
Peter’s discourse and Barbara’s wonderful photographs took us through all this and more. Brazil worth visiting? You bet.
Join us on Jan 27th for John Gardner on More Wild life and Wild places.
Photo by User:Kelvinc – Own work, based on Image:BlankMap-World6.svg. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons