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Brazil's Wild Wet
AUGUST 2005
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Photo captions by John L. Eliot
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Brazil's Wild Wet Gallery Photo

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Wetland Jewels
Photograph by Joel Sartore

The brilliant flash of a hyacinth macaw colors the Pantanal. This 74,000-square-mile (190,000-square-kilometer) wetland spills over Brazil and tips into Paraguay and Bolivia. Poaching ran rampant here in the 1980s, and some 10,000 hyacinth macaws were captured, most to be sold as pets. Following a 1987 census by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the bird was put on the endangered species list, which has helped to control but not eliminate illegal trade in hyacinths, the largest macaw species. Today about 5,000 hyacinths live in the Pantanal, with about 1,500 elsewhere in Brazil. The longevity of hyacinth macaws in the wild—30 to 40 years—gives hope for the long-term recovery of the species.
Photo Fast Facts
Camera: Nikon F-5
Film Type: Fujichrome Velvia
Lens: Nikon 400, f/2.8
Speed and F-Stop: 1/500 @ f/2.8
Weather Conditions: Sunny
Time of Day: 5 p.m.
Lighting Techniques: Natural light

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