‘Apocalyptic’ fires ravage tropical wetlands

Infernos in South America’s Pantanal region — the world's largest tropical wetland — have burnt twice the area of California’s fires this year. The region, which sprawls over parts of western Brazil and extends into Bolivia and Paraguay, is home to Indigenous peoples and a high concentration of rare and endangered species, such as jaguars (Panthera onca) and giant armadillos (Priodontes maximus). Scientists worry that the extreme blazes will profoundly alter the already-fragile ecosystem of the Pantanal, and that research programmes investigating the region’s ecology and biodiversity will never recover. “It is a tragedy of colossal proportions,” says biologist Luciana Leite.

Nature | 6 min read

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