Want to see a wild jaguar? Put the northern Pantanal on your bucket list. Photo: Matt Miller/TNC
Want to see a wild jaguar? Put the northern Pantanal on your bucket list. Photo: Matt Miller/TNC
Want to see a wild jaguar? Put the northern Pantanal on your bucket list. Photo: Matt Miller/TNC

MATT MILLER on COOL GREEN SCIENCE | 7 January 2014

The Traveling Naturalist is The Nature Conservancy’s series featuring natural wonders and biological curiosities for the science-inclined wanderer.

The jaguar has the reputation as being an incredibly difficult animal to spot in the wild; to read many guidebooks, you get the impression that you’d have to spend a lifetime in the rainforest to have any hope of spotting one.

Sure, they are found widely in Central and South America (and sometimes even show up in Arizona), but they don’t often show themselves.

But there is actually one spot where you can reliably observe and photograph wild jaguars: the northern Pantanal of Brazil.

The Pantanal is  the world’s largest tropical wetland, covering nearly 70,000 square miles. During the rainy season, as much as 80 percent of this area is flooded. These areas dry up in August and September, leaving behind small water holes crammed with fish, birds and caimans.

Read more at blog.nature.org