Wildlife of Brazil

Brazil’s large territory comprises different ecosystems, such as the Amazon Rainforest, recognized as having the greatest biological diversity in the world; the Atlantic Forest and the Cerrado, which together sustain some of the world’s greatest biodiversity. In the South, the Araucaria pine forest grows under temperate conditions.

The rich wildlife of Brazil reflects the variety of natural habitats; however, remains largely unknown, and new species are found on nearly a daily basis. Scientists estimate that the total number of plant and animal species in Brazil could approach two million. Larger mammals include pumas, jaguars, ocelots, rare bush dogs, and foxes. Peccaries, tapirs, anteaters, sloths, opossums, and armadillos are abundant. Deer are plentiful in the south, and monkeys of many species abound in the northern rain forests.

Concern for the environment in Brazil has grown in response to global interest in environmental issues. It’s natural heritage is extremely threatened due to cattle ranching and agriculture, logging, mining, resettlement, oil and gas extraction, over-fishing, expansion of urban centres, wildlife trade, fire, climate change, dams and infrastructure, water contamination, and invasive species.

In many areas of the country, the natural environment is threatened by development. Construction of highways has opened up previously remote areas for agriculture and settlement; dams have flooded valleys and inundated wildlife habitats; and mines have scarred and polluted the landscape.

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