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.


A Milestone Achievement of the INAU Bioacoustic Field Research Project: Two Continuous Annual Cycles Completed

End of October the CO.BRA field team successfully finished one of the major data sampling goals of the northern Pantanal automated bioacoustic research project: the completion of two annual cycles of soundscapes (one cycle taken at an ecotourism lodge and one from a protected area). Most likely this is the first time in the history of automated bioacoustic data assessment that a continuous annual recording schedule in real time was maintained. The data and metadata collected (over 100 TB) will now be analysed in our laboratories in in Cuiaba, Brazil (UFMT), Bonn, Germany (ZFMK), and Varna, Bulgaria (TU Varna), according to the annual activities of key avian and anuran species. 


Prof. Elena Buzan – Project Visitor from Europe

Our new INAU project collaborator, Prof. Elena Buzan, a leading European scientist in Molecular Ecology from the University of Primorska, Koper, Slovenia, visited our UFMT project facilities and the Institute of Bioscience to discuss details of our future research cooperations with the CO.BRA team and the colleagues from the Dept. of Zoology. Her visit was granted by an International Visiting Professor Scholarship of the Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso, Pro-Rectorate of Research, Cuiaba. During her one week stay, Prof. Elena Buzan visited the  Molecular Laboratory and the field study sites of CO.BRA. She gave a well-attended talk on “New Approaches of Molecular Ecology“. She plans to return next year for a longer stay to work within our INAU project on topics related to molecular genetics of migratory birds in the Pantanal.

Photo: Right: Prof. Elena Buzan, University of Primorska, Koper, Slovenia, visiting the Molecular Laboratory of the UFMT Bioscience Institute. Left: Prof. Marcos Andre de Carvalho, Director of the Bioscience Institute.


INAU Project in Focus - TV GLOBO Jornal Nacional

Alerted by our recent research presentations in various Brazilian biological e-journals, a team from Centro America TV visited the CO.BRA IT facilities at the UFMT and our field study sites in the Pantanal. The tv documentation covering our automated bioacoustic monitoring studies was put on the air on September 27 in Mato Grosso (6 min) and on October 17 country-wide (abridged version 3 min).
You want to know more? Check the following links:

Photo: Centro America TV team at one of our INAU study sites at SESC Pantanal, Baia das Pedras.
Interview with Prof. Charly Schuchmann.


Inauguration of the Centro de Documentação Alexander Koenig, CDAK

On September 11 over 2000 scientific biological journals and books donated by the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig, ZFMK, Bonn, Germany, found their new home at the UFMT Institute of Biosciences. The library will receive further print titles in 2015 and beyond. The present journal and book collection covers a wide range of topics spanning from General Zoology, Physiology, Genetics, Biogeography, Systematics and Evolution to specific taxon-related fields like Entomology, Ichthyology, Herpetology, Ornithology, Mammalogy, and others.
Even some extreme rare publications from the 19th Century are among the treasures of the library.

In the forthcoming months all journals and books will be inventorized and digitalized by publication title, volume, and issue. The CDAK library will then be available for downloading via CO.BRA´s library data archive.
Special thanks go to Prof. Dr. Waegele, Director of the ZFMK, who made this donation possible and to Mrs. Ewa Szpala for the endless hours of carefully packing all the books and journals (over 1 t) to be sent to the UFMT.


Photo: Zoological journal section of the ZDAK at the Institute of Biosciences, UFMT.


New UFMT Master Course in Zoology Inaugurated

The new Master Course in Zoology (PPGZOO) was inaugurated on August 11 at the UFMT Anfiteatro, Bloco Didatico. Around 50 professors and students attended the official ceremony. Among the CO.BRA team members present were Prof. Dr. Marinez I. Marques, PPGZOO Coordinator; Prof.  Dr. Todor Ganchev, TU Varna, Bulgaria; Prof. Dr. Josiel Maimone, UFMT; Prof. Dr. Charly Schuchmann, University of Bonn, Germany, and UFMT Visiting Professor. A special guest was Prof. Dr. Paulo Teixeira, coordinator of the National Science and Technology Institute for Wetlands, INAU, and Coordinator  and Director of the UFMT International Foreign Relations Office.The welcome addresses during  the official ceremony were held by Prof. Dr. Marinez I. Marques and Prof. Dr. Marcos Andre de Carvalho, Director of the Institute of Biosciences. Invited speakers were Prof. Dr. Joanis Tilemahos Zervoudakis, UFMT Pro-Rector of Research (lecture topic “Promoting Science in Brazil“) and Prof. Dr. Charly Schuchmann (lecture topic “What is Modern Zoology About?“). Two PPGZOO disciplines will be conducted by CO.BRA team researchers in 2015: “Applied Bioacoustics – A Tool for Biomonitoring and Conservation“ and “Science, How to Talk and Write About It“.



News from the TU Varna, Bulgaria

During April 1 to June 30, 2014, two UFMT-CO.BRA members, Allan G. de Oliveira, MSc, and Thiago M. Ventura, MSc, PhDs at the Institute of Computation, UFMT, carried out research at the Applied Signal Processing Laboratory, Technical University of Varna, Bulgaria. PhD Sandwich grants were provided to both scientists by the CNPq-CsF Program. Allan and Thiago conducted laboratory research to create software tools for automated recognition of bird vocalizations in real-field recordings.  These tools will serve the needs of continuous monitoring of migratory bird species in the Pantanal, which is implemented by CO.BRA's INAU Project, and will create the basis for long-term biodiversity studies in the Pantanal wetlands.
Their research efforts will resulted in the development of efficient algorithms for robust automated detection of bird sounds and the creation of software for automated recognition of Vanellus chilensis vocalizations, which will allow the automatization of  long-term studies on the seasonal behavior of this bird species.  The two researchers will further implement an audio classifier which is capable to distinguish the sounds of 40 bird species from the State of Mato Grosso, Brazil.

Photo: Allan Goncalves de Oliveira, MSC (left), and Thiago Meirelles Ventura, MSc., at their hosting institution, the Technical University of Varna, Bulgaria.



Pantanal Sounds, article featuring CO.BRA

research activities.

Journal 'O Biólogo' (read more


Descobrindo a vida secreta dos mamíferos do Pantanal.

Journal SBZ, No. 108, pg 7-12, 2014 (read more

Os Sons do Pantanal: um projeto de monitoramento acústico automatizado da biodiversidade.

Journal SBZ, No. 108, pg 11-12, 2014 (read more)


PhD Grants from the 'Science without Borders Program' to two CO.BRA Team members

Allan Gonçalves de Oliveira, MSc, and Thiago Meirelles Ventura, MSc, from the Institute of Computation, UFMT, were awarded with sandwich grants from CNPq, 'Science without Borders Program', to conduct research for their PhD (UFMT - Post-Graduate Program in Environmental Physics) at the Technical University of Varna, Bulgaria. They will leave for Varna on April 1, 2014 for a 3-month stay at the Department of Electronics, Laboratory of Applied Signal Processing, of Prof. Dr. Rozalina Stefanova Dimova and Prof. Dr. Todor Granchev, both international experts in the field of acoustic signal processing.

Photos: Allan Gonçalves de Oliveira, MSc, and Thiago Meirelles Ventura, MSc