Monday, February 23, 2015

Brazil: Mato Grosso State

Situation and Characteristics
The state of Mato Grosso (the name means "primeval forest") in central Brazil is surrounded (in clockwise order) by Rondonia, Amazonas, Pará, Tocantins and Goiás (beyond the Rio Araguaia) and Mato Grosso do Sul. On the south-west it is bordered by Bolivia. The northern part of the state is in the Amazonian rain forest belt; the south merges gradually into savannah and finally into the swampland of the Pantanal.
The first settlers and founders of towns in the Mato Grosso, in the early 18th century, were gold prospectors from eastern Brazil. Soon afterwards cattle-farming developed to meet the needs of the immigrants, and this is still an important element in the economy, to which arable farming and forestry also make major contributions. In 1979 the southern part of the state was hived off and became the independent state of Mato Grosso do Sul.

Its capital city is Cuiabá.

A state with a flat landscape, alternating great chapadas and plain areas, Mato Grosso presents three different ecosystems: Cerrado, Pantanal and the Amazon Rainforest. The vegetation of the open pasture covers 40% of the state, and the Chapada dos Guimarães National Park, with its caves, grottos, tracks and waterfalls, is one of its great tourist attractions. In the north is the Amazonian forest, with a biodiversity covering half of the state. The Xingu National Park and the Araguaia River are in Mato Grosso. Further south, the Pantanal, the world's largest wetland, is the habitat for almost a thousand species of animals, with many aquatic birds.

Araguaia River. Photo ipetv

Tuiuiu bird symbol of Pantanal in Mato Grosso state. Photo: Google

Courtyard of Kamaiurá Village, Alto-Xingu. Indigenous people playing the "Uruá" flute. Photo: wikipedia

Mato Grosso lies predominantly on the western part of the Brazilian Plateau. It is elevated approximately 3 000 feet above sea level along of the Mato Grosso Plateau, which is home to the line that separates the neighbouring drainage basins, the Amazon River basin and the River de la Plata basin. This state is characterized by towering cliffs, mighty waterfalls and deep canyons, making for exquisite scenery and idyllic backdrops to your photographs. The western part of Mato Grosso is a floodplain, yielding magnificent grazing lands. In fact, these are recognized as some of the best grazing lands, not only in Brazil, but the world over. The whole state is hot throughout the year, but the lowlands are far more humid than those situated higher up.

Agriculture is the largest sector in terms of its contribution to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Mato Grosso is Brazil’s most valuable soybean producer and is also a major producer of cotton.
Truck on a scale with a load of soybeans in Brazil,
soy storage silos in the background.

National Park Chapada dos Guimarães

Visitors to Mato Grosso are urged to see the following attractions:

• The National Park Chapada dos Guimarães – famous for its gorgeous caves, trails and waterfalls, this attraction is situated in the Amazonian forest

• The Xingu National Park

• Pantanal – the most extensive wetland in the world

• Alta Floresta

• Fishing in São Benedito

• Bird watching in Alta Floresta and the Cristalino River Basin

• Chapada dos Guimarães

• Aroe Jari – the biggest sandstone cavern in Brazil

• SESC's Private Natural Heritage Reserve

some sources: brazilorgwikipedia and planetware

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