Brazil is widely acclaimed for the sheer abundance and diversity of plant and animal life to which it is home. In fact, it is the residence of more unique freshwater fish and amphibian species than any other country anywhere else in the world.
Only a small proportion of its endemic faunal species are included below, testifying to the scale of its beautiful animal life:
• Brazilian Blind Characid Stygichthys typhlops
• Green Piranha
• Santa Catarina Sabrefin
• Royal Tetra
• Slender Pike Cichlid (FishBase)
• White-blotched River Stingray
• Hahnel's Amazonian Swallowtail
• Protomeliturga (a bee species)
• Martialis heureka (a type of ant)
• Brazilian Salmon Pink Tarantula
One of the reasons that Brazil is so abundant is such endemic species is that it is also the home of regions that can only be found in this country, which provide important ecosystems and food for various animal species. Such distinctive regions include 1) the Atlantic Forest, 2) the Caatinga region, 3) the Cerrado, 4) the impressive Amazon and 5) the Abrolhos Coral Reefs.
The general breakdown of faunal species found in Brazil is as follows (although it should be noted that these numbers are fairly dynamic; changing on a regular basis):
• Primates – 77
• Freshwater fish – more than 3 000
• Mammals – 524
• Amphibians – 517
• Butterflies – 3 150
• Birds – 1 622
• Reptiles – 468
• Invertebrates – well over 100 000
However, as many scientists continue to speculate regarding the numbers of species in the country of Brazil, they usually concede that they have discovered only some of those in existence, and that further research will certainly uncover an array of other faunal species that are currently concealed in the dense jungles and deep oceans of South America. In fact, a new insect species is discovered almost every single day.
Of course, the natural wealth of Brazil is, as always, threatened by human intervention and climatic changes. As their natural habitats continue to be destroyed by industrial development, logging and pollution, animals are also being hunted and / or slaughtered. Hundreds of species are currently endangered, many of them critically. This places an enormous pressure on the environmental and political organisations of the world to make concerted efforts to curb the destruction and protect the natural abundance and treasures of countries like Brazil.