is the world's
largest tropical wetland area, and is located mostly within the Brazilian state
of Mato Grosso do Sul, but it extends into Mato Grosso and portions of Bolivia
and Paraguay. It sprawls over an area estimated at between 140,000 and 195,000
square kilometres (54,000 and 75,000 sq mi). Various subregional
ecosystems exist, each with distinct hydrological, geological and ecological
characteristics; up to 12 of them have been defined (RADAMBRASIL 1982).
Roughly 80% of the Pantanal floodplains are