Introduction: Birding Brazil

Welcome to the birding blog I maintained during the two years I lived in Brasília and traveled throughout Brazil. With over 1800 bird species, including more than 200 endemics, Brazil could keep a birder busy for a lifetime, much less a few years.  This massive and richly diverse country can be divided into six major biomes – Amazon, Atlantic Forest, Pantanal, Cerrado, Caatinga, and Pampa – each with its own unique avifauna. Given the potential for adding to their life list, birders typically plan to hit several regions in a single trip; for example, the state of Mato Grosso contains outstanding birding sites in the Amazon, Pantanal, and Cerrado, while a trip to Bahia will cover Atlantic Forest, Cerrado, and Caatinga birding. Although my country list barely topped 800 bird species, I focused primarily on seeing endemics and relished visiting sites far off the traditional birding circuit, such as Serra do Navio in the state of Amapá, the Araguaia Valley in Tocantins, and Floresta Nacional do Jamarí in Rondônia.

As more new bird species are described and a definitive field guide is eventually published, independent birders should start arriving in larger numbers, while continuing to draw on classic resources such as Bruce Forrester’s text Birding Brazil and Jeremy Minn’s sites notes as well using new distribution maps from Wiki Aves. But future tourism and scientific research are far from given, as evidenced by recent controversial environmental issues, such as the Belo Monte hydroelectric project and the revision of the Forestry Code, both of which severely threaten the integrity of Amazonia. Although there is a growing community of Brazilian birders and photographers that is passionate about conservation, the country’s leaders risk wagering all its natural resources for the sake of immediate economic growth. Traveling by car between well spaced birding sites, you’ll definitely have time to contemplate how mining, logging, agriculture, and cattle ranching are quickly changing Brazil’s landscape.

While I have since moved on to explore another part of the world, please feel free to contact me with any questions as you plan your trip. Don’t let Portuguese or high prices deter you – go big in Brazil!

2 comments:

  1. I've enjoyed your blog from Brazil. Are you going to start a new one where you are now?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your message.

    We're heading off to the Indian subcontinent next year, but I don't know how much birding I'll be doing there yet.

    At any rate, stay posted!

    ReplyDelete

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