February 2 is World Wetlands Day, which aims to raise awareness about the importance of wetlands. According to UNESCO, an estimated 64 percent of the world’s wetlands have disappeared since the year 1900. In honor of this day, we’re turning our gaze towards Pantanal, the world’s largest wetlands—and one that’s seriously threatened.
In the following photos, discover a sample of the rich biodiversity of the Pantanal, which covers over 140,000 square kilometers and touches Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. While large amounts of the area are protected or otherwise untouched, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the area is threatened by unsustainable cattle ranching, illegal mining and other construction.