Our Pantanal Expedition in November 2019 was successful. The trip gave to our participants the opportunity to have some unique wildlife sightings. We spotted
about 55 species of herps plus an incredible amount of mammals. We also managed to road-cruise 9 Tapir, 2 Ocelot, 2 Southern tamandua, 1 Giant Anteater, and loads of Marsh Deer and Capybara! Too bad we didn’t find the Caiman Lizard.
Our expedition leader, Matthieu Berroneau, put in the work and was always eager to do the extra mile in order to unveil some more species. He was the key of the trip as finding, identifying, and photographing herps is a challenge!
The squad featured experienced herpers and very accomplished photographers. We sampled two different areas of the northern Pantanal during 6 days and towards the end we headed to the plateaus of the Chapada dos Guimarães to find more targets.
The trip required stamina as we spent most time walking and looking for herps under an overpowering heat and insufferable humidity. Not a drop of rain during the first 4 days, let alone when we drove to the second site under a crazy downpour. Mosquitoes and other bugs were out there, especially on the forest trails.
The trip was packed with lots of forest hikes and road-cruising that delivered some serious stuff. We crossed off 2 Yellow Anacondas (a juvenile and a sizeable adult), an adult Matogrosso Lancehead, a big South American Pond Snake, a decent-sized Chaco Sepia Snake, and a Neotropical snail-eater amongst others. One of the most remarkable snakes was probably the Matogrosso Lancehead that we found on the third night. This species of pit-viper was high in the list and finding it was a tremendous experience. The group was just ecstatic when we stumbled upon it.
Next to those finds, we got to see a Spectral bat eating a native rodent. Matthieu also hiked a 6-foot Neotropical Racer!
We spent the last two nights of the trip at the Chapada dos Guimarães, famed for its dramatic landscapes. Down there we ticked 2 Brazilian Lanceheads (a 5-foot adult and a 3-foot adult). Chapada also delivered a species of False Coral Snake, a Cat-eyed snake, an Amazon-tree boa (high up in the trees), and a Royal Ground Snake, to mention just a few.