Pantanal ecotourism Access, costs, benefits and threats
I travelled in the region with Birding Pantanal, which handled all logistics and provided a guide whose knowledge of birds and mammals was as inexhaustible as her patience and good humour; birdingpantanal.com.
A recent study (you can read a PDF at iti.ms/2wjDaZh) suggests that although ecotourism is booming in the Pantanal, a great deal more conservation management and planning are needed to make it sustainable. In a sadly familiar scenario, existing regulations are often flouted.
Another article (at iti.ms/2yHiZWD) shows that the financial benefits of jaguar conservation to the region far outweigh the costs in cattle predation. But those benefits need to be much more fairly distributed to local people to ensure popular support for implementation of hunting and farming regulations.
The biggest threat to the Pantanal’s ecological integrity, however, comes from a transnational scheme, the Hidrovía Paraná-Paraguay project, which aims to “improve” the great rivers that feed its marshes; you can read an assessment at iti.ms/2wkciIw.X%%ExtPageImgè