Local News

Learn about Brazilian wetlands at Yolo Audubon meeting

By From page A3 | January 15, 2014

Blue-crowned TrogonW

A blue-crowned trogon is one of the unusual species of birds that can be seen at The Pantanal, the world's largest freshwater wetland, which stretches across 54,000 square miles, mostly in Brazil. Frank Coppel/Courtesy photo

The public is invited to the Yolo Audubon Society’s meeting Wednesday to hear Frank Coppel of Tundra River Adventures speak about The Pantanal in South America. Coppel will present highlights from an October 2012 trip to the Pantanal.

The Pantanal is the world’s largest freshwater wetland, a seasonally flooded marshy plain fed by the tributaries of the Paraguay River. With an area of 54,000 square miles, the Pantanal is nearly 10 times larger than the Everglades. It lies mostly in Brazil, and extends into Ecuador and Paraguay.

Encompassing a variety of subregional ecosystems, its floodplains are submerged during the rainy seasons, nurturing a biologically diverse collection of aquatic plants, and helping to support a dense array of animal species. The savannahs and gallery forests of the Pantanal harbor nearly 600 species of birds alone, including an astounding 82 species of large birds.

Thousands of birds can be seen while traveling by car on the raised Transpantaneira Road, the only all-year route through the heart of this special wild place. The region is also home to giant otters, capybaras, capuchin and howler monkeys, and the region’s mammalian gem, the jaguar.

Yolo Audubon meets from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Davis Senior Center, 646 A St. Attendees are invited to arrive at 7 p.m. for cookies and conversation.

The Yolo Audubon Society is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of birds and other wildlife through educational programs and field trips, bringing conservation issues to public awareness, and acting to preserve Yolo County bird life and habitat.

For more information, visit www.yoloaudubon.org.

Special to The Enterprise

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