“Do not pollute the land where you are.” Numbers 35:33
We should protect our ecosystems as we cannot survive without them. The Bible teaches us not to pollute the land in which we are living. Let us now learn about the Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland.
The Pantanal nurtures diverse ecosystems, including grasslands, perennial lakes, and terrestrial forests.
Located south of the Amazon basin and east of the Andes, it is about ten times the size of the Everglades (tropical wetlands in the U.S. state of Florida). It covers an area of up to 195,000 square kilometers (or 75,000 square miles) and stretches across Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay. It derives the name from the Portuguese word pântano, meaning wetland, swamp, or marsh.
The region is characterized by periods of seasonal flooding and extreme dryness. It leads to divergent phases of standing water and dry soil when the water table can be below the root region. During the rainy season, around 80 percent of the floodplains are submerged. It gradually empties during the dry season and then fills up again.
It is an ecological paradise containing 3500 plant species, 1000 bird species, 325 fish species, 300 mammals, 53 amphibian and 480 reptiles. Some of the most exotic animals, such as the Jaguar, Hyacinthine macaws, and giant river otters, all call the Pantanal their home. Its biodiversity and spectacular landscape are now being threatened by commercial fishing, cattle-ranching, deforestation, tourism, hunting and poaching, and pollution from industries.