The Flood is Arriving – Pantanal Research under Extreme Weather Conditions

With the onset of the annual rainy period in October / November the slow raise of the water level in the Northern Pantanal Matogrossense begins, reaching highest inundation amplitudes in February / March. This time of the year is one of the most demanding physical challenges for our team and for the electronical equipment. Since two years special maintenance precautions and efforts by the CO.BRA field scientists are in order to maintain the functional viability of our humidity sensitive audiovisual recording units. After monitoring two annual cycles of sound emitting wildlife in two transects in the Pantanal of Pocone, we moved our electronical equipment in November 2014 (song meter and wildlife cameras) to new non-inundated study sites near the Cuiaba River. These areas are known to serve many terrestrial animals as refuges during the flood period. Since the second half of November, several of our recording stations are activated at different sized habitats. This part of our study project serves the objective to gather data on community structures and species richness of birds and mammals during times of extreme mobility restrictions for several taxa.

The photos below demonstrate some of the physical demands during the high water levels our team members have to cope with. The equipment transfer to new study sites in November 2014 was coordinated by Filipe de Deus, MSc.

Photo 1: Inspection ride to study sites.

Photo 2: Maintenance and data sampling activities of a song meter station.