Revista de Biología Tropical ISSN Impreso: 0034-7744 ISSN electrónico: 2215-2075

Temporal and spatial variation of richness and abundance of the community of birds in the Pantanal wetlands of Nhecolândia (Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil)


bird community
mosaic of habitats
Mato Grosso do Sul
comunidad de aves
mosaico de hábitats
Mato Grosso do Sul

How to Cite

Donatelli, R. J., Eaton, D. P., Sementili-Cardoso, G., Marques Vianna, R., Whitacker Gerotti, R., Gonçalves Rodrigues, F., & Martos Martins, R. (2017). Temporal and spatial variation of richness and abundance of the community of birds in the Pantanal wetlands of Nhecolândia (Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil). Revista De Biología Tropical, 65(4), 1358–1380.


The Pantanal wetlands represent one of the largest flood plains in the World, with extreme climatic variations between dry and wet seasons. The area shelters a high diversity of habitats, representing the main formations found in this sub-region: grasslands, savannah, forested savannah, riparian forests, bays and salines, and Negro river itself. This habitat variability determines the structure and dynamics of the bird community, because most species are closely related to specific habitats. For this, we studied the abundance of bird species from 2001 to 2004 in a Pantanal area of Fazenda Rio Negro, Aquidauana, Brazil. The abundance was compared among those four consecutive years, seasons (dry and wet), time of the day (morning and afternoon), and also between seven different habitats, in order to determine the variation in distribution patterns and habitats used by birds. For this, we used the linear transect method in each of the seven habitats, and recorded bird abundances to obtain richness. The richness registered in the mosaic of habitats was of 201 species for the savannah, 87 in forested savannah, 116 in the riparian forest, 75 in grasslands, 120 in bays, 92 in the salines and 64 in the Negro river, accounting for 348 species in the Pantanal of Rio Negro. Overall, 98 species of migratory birds were registered. The results highlighted some important issues regarding the total abundance of birds in Nhecolândia: Psittacidae was the most abundant family in the region, with prominence in all environments. Recurvirostridae, a monospecific family, showed expressive abundance due to the dominance of Himantopus mexicanus in the salinas, followed by Ardeidae, Anatidae and Cracidae. Other families with high abundance were Tyrannidae, Columbidae, Thraupidae and Emberizidae, all in predominantly terrestrial environments. Moreover: a) The highest number of specimens was recorded in the morning period and in the dry season, regardless of the habitat; b) there were no differences in abundance in the same habitat along the years, but the abundance was different among habitats. In general, the results indicated that there is a relatively stable bird population in each habitat along the annual cycle, but there were differences in abundance among habitats. Thus, additional studies on food availability in dry and wet seasons should be better explored in the future, either in this region or in other Pantanal regions. This fact could better explain the seasonal dynamics of the richness and abundance of birds in the Pantanal area in general.


Alho, C. J. R., Lacher Jr., T. E., & Gonçalves, H. C. (1988). Habitat degradation in the Pantanal ecosystem. BioScience, 38, 164-171.

Atkinson, P.W., Fuller, R.A., Gillings, S., & Vickery, J. A. (2006). Counting birds on farmland habitats in winter. Bird Study, 53, 303-309.

Bailey, S. A., Horner-Devine, M. C., Luck, G., Moore, L. A., Carney, K. M., Anderson, S., Betrus, C., & Fleishman, E. (2004). Primary productivity and species richness: relationships among functional guilds, residency groups and vagility classes at multiple spatial scales. Ecography, 27, 207-217.

Barrantes, G., Ocampo, D., Ramírez-Fernández, J. D. & Fuchs, E. J. (2016). Effect of fragmentation on the Costa Rican dry forest avifauna. Peer J, DOI 10.7717/peerj.2422.

Bibby, C. J., Burgess, N. D., & Hill, D. A. (1992). Bird Census Techniques. San Diego: Academic Press Inc.

Blake, J. G. (2007). Neotropical forest bird communities: a comparison of species richness and composition at local and regional scales. The Condor, 109, 237-255.

Blake, J. G., & Loiselle, B. A. (1991). Variation in resource abundance affects capture rates of birds in three lowland habitats in Costa Rica. The Auk 108, 114-130.

Brown, K. S. JR. (1986). Zoogeografia da região do Pantanal Matogrossense. In: Anais do I Simpósio sobre recursos naturais e sócioeconômicos do Pantanal. p.137-138, EMBRAPA - DDT, Brasília, Brasil.

Cintra, R. & Yamashita, C. (1990) Hábitats, abundância e ocorrência das espécies de aves do Pantanal de Poconé, Mato Grosso, Brasil. Papéis Avulsos Zool., 37, 1-21.

Cueto, V. R., & Casenave, J. L. (1999). Determinants of bird species richness: role of climate and vegetation structure at a regional scale. Journal of Biogeography, 26, 487-492.

Devaut, T., Kubel, J., & Rhodes Jr., O. (2009). Habitat and Bird Communities at Small Airports in the Midwestern USA. Wildlife Damage Management Conferences – Proceedings, 115, 137-145.

Donatelli, R. J., Posso, S. R., & Toledo, M. C. B. (2014). Distribution, composition and seasonality of aquatic birds in the Nhecolândia sub-region of South Pantanal, Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology/Revista Brasileira de Biologia, 74, 844-853.

Dubs, B. (1992). Birds of southwestern Brazil: catalogue and guide to the birds of the Pantanal of Mato Grosso and its border areas. Kusnacht, Switzerland: Betrona-Verlag.

Farley, G. H., Ellis, L. M., Stuart, J. N., & Scott Jr, N. J. (1994). Avian species richness in different-aged stands of Riparian Forest along the Middle Rio Grande, New Mexico. Conservation Biology, 8, 1098-1108.

Figueira, J. E. C., Cintra, R., Viana, L. R., & Yamashita, C. (2006). Spatial and temporal patterns of bird species diversity in the Pantanal of Mato Grosso, Brazil: implications for conservation. Brazilian Journal of Biology/Revista Brasileira de Biologia, 66, 393-404.

Herkert, J. R. (1994). The effects of habitat fragmentation on midwestern grassland bird communities. Ecological Applications, 4, 461-471.

Marengo, J. A., Oliveira, G. S., & Alves, L. M. (2016). Climate changes scenarios in the Pantanal. In: I. Bergier, & M. L. Assine (Eds), Dynamics of the Pantanal Wetland in South America (pp. 227-238). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Mitchell, M. K. H. (1957). Observations on birds of southeastern Brazil. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Naumburg, E. M. B. (1930). The birds of Mato Grosso, Brazil. Bulletin American Museum Natural History 60, 1-432.

Nunes, A. P., Tizianel, F. A. T., & Tomas, W. M. (2006). Aves ameaçadas ocorrentes no Pantanal. Embrapa Pantanal - Documentos, 83, 41.

Nunes, A. P., & Tomas, W. M. (2004a). Análise preliminar das relações biogeográficas da avifauna do Pantanal com biomas adjacentes. In: do, A. (Translator), Simpósio sobre Recursos Naturais E Sócio-Econômicos Do Pantanal (pp. 8). Corumbá: Embrapa Pantanal.

Nunes, A. P., & Tomas, W. M. (2004b). Aves migratórias ocorrentes no Pantanal: caracterização e conservação. Embrapa Pantanal - Documentos, 62, 27.

Nunes, A. P., Silva, P. A., & Tomas, W. M. (2008). Novos registros de aves para o Pantanal, Brasil. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 16, 160-164.

Piacentini, V. Q., Aleixo, A., Agne, C. E., Maurício, G. N., Pacheco, J. F., Bravo, G. A., ... Cesari, E. (2015). Annotated checklist of the birds of Brazil by the Brazilian Ornithological Records Committee / Lista comentada das aves do Brasil pelo Comitê Brasileiro de Registros Ornitológicos. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 23, 91-298.

Por, F. D. (1995). The Pantanal of Mato Grosso (Brazil): World's largest wetlands. In H. J. Dumont, & M. J. A. Werger (Eds.), Monographiae Biologicae, Vol. 73. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer.

Pott, A., & Silva, J. S. V. (2015). Terrestrial and aquatic vegetation diversity of the Pantanal wetland. In: I. Bergier, & M. L. Assine (Eds.), Dynamics of the Pantanal Wetland in South America (pp. 83-110). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Poulin, B., Lefebvre, G., & McNeil, R. (1993). Variations in bird abundance in tropical arid and semi-arid habitats. Ibis, 135, 432-441.

Rafe, R. W., Usher, M. B., & Jefferson, R. G. (1985). Birds on reserves: the influence of area and habitat on species richness. Journal of Applied Ecology, 22, 327-335.

Ratter, J. A., Pott, A., Pott, V. J., Cunha, C. N., & Haridasan, M. (1988). Observations on wood vegetation types in the Pantanal and at Corumbá, Brazil. Notes from the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, 45, 503-525.

Resende, I. L M., Araújo, G. M, Oliveira, A. P. A., Oliveira, A. P., & Ávila, R. S, Jr. (2004). A comunidade vegetal e as características abióticas de um campo de murundu em Uberlândia, MG. Acta Botanica Brasilica, 18, 9-17.

Rodela, L.G. (2006). Unidades de vegetação e pastagens nativas do Pantanal da Nhecolândia, Mato Grosso do Sul (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Departamento de Geografia da Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas da Universidade de São Paulo.

Silva, L. M. R., & Rodrigues, A. A. F. (2015). Densidade e distribuição espacial de aves limícolas em habitats de forrageio na costa amazônica brasileira. Ornithologia, 8, 17-21.

Tomás, W. M., de Salis, S. M., Catella, A., Santos, S., & Nunes, A. (2007) Biodiversidade na região inundada pelo Rio Taquari. Corumbá: Embrapa Pantanal.

Tubelis, D. P., & Tomas, W. M. (2003). Bird species of the wetland, Brazil. Ararajuba, 11, 5-37.

Veech, J. A., & Crist, T. O. (2007). Habitat and climate heterogeneity maintain beta-diversity of birds among landscapes within ecoregions. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 16, 650-656.

Whitaker, D. M., & Montevecchi, W. A. (1997). Breeding bird assemblages associated with riparian, interior forest, and nonriparian edge habitats in a balsam fir ecosystem. Canadian Journal Forest Research 27, 1159-1167.


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2017 Revista de Biología Tropical


Download data is not yet available.