By Amelia Meyer
With a total area of almost 195 000 square kilometres (or 75 000 square miles), the Pantanal is the largest wetland in the world. The vast majority of it is in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, but it also extends into Mato Grosso and the separate countries of Paraguay and Bolivia, which neighbour Brazil.
As such a vast tropical wetland, the Pantanal is a very precious resource of Brazil, home to an array of plant- and animal species. In fact, up to 12 sub-regional ecosystems have been identified within the Pantanal, each of which has its own unique identity and characteristics.