Environment > Wetlands of intl importance > Area: Group totals

Ian Graham, Staff Editor

Author: Ian Graham, Staff Editor

The Pantanal is the largest continental wetland in the world, covering 130,357 square kilometers in Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. Its 175 piranha-infested rivers are home to 10 million cayman crocodiles and 600,000 capybara, the world’s largest rodents. 50 species of reptiles, 190 mammal species including jaguar and howler monkeys, more than 1000 species of butterflies, and 658 bird species live in the area. <p>A UN report on the wetlands says 85 percent of the rich, fragile ecosystem could be wiped out if the earth’s temperature rises by three or four degrees Celsius. <p>The area is also under threat from industrial development. The region has some of the largest reserves of magnesium and iron ore in the world and the state’s governor is proposing the building of a steel mill and the fivefold increase of iron ore extraction.
DEFINITION: Wetlands of international importance 2002.


Emerging markets 34,162 thousand hectares 2002
High income OECD countries 21,369 thousand hectares 2002
NATO countries 20,284 thousand hectares 2002
Former Spanish colonies 20,102 thousand hectares 2002
Non-religious countries 17,752 thousand hectares 2002
Group of 7 countries (G7) 16,862 thousand hectares 2002
European Union 7,763 thousand hectares 2002
Eurozone 3,026 thousand hectares 2002

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