Conservation Projects

There are several conservations projects in the Pantanal, such as the Arara Azul, Panthera, Giant Armadillo and Jaguar. Each project has an especific objective of protecting local species and stuyding the relationship with their environment. Each project is managed by different organizations that use these species as ambassadors for biodiversity conservation through education, outreach initiatives, and media campaigns.

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Arara azul

The Hyacinth Macaw Project is a project that studies the biology and Macaw great ecological relationships, management performs and promotes the conservation of blue macaw in their natural environment. The project is studying the reproductive biology of scarlet macaws, toucans, hawks, owls, duck-eating fox and other species that co-inhabit with blue macaw in the Pantanal.

The Project comprises the monitoring of macaws in nature, the monitoring of natural and artificial nests in an area of ​​over 400 hectares besides work in conjunction with local landowners, conservation of the species.

The Project uses the blue macaw as a flagship species to promote conservation of other species, and biodiversity of the Pantanal as a WHOLE.

The project is conducted in the Pantanal, mainly in Mato Grosso do Sul and sporadically in the State of Mato Grosso.

Jaguar Conservation Project

This project Onças do Rio Negro has the main goal of obtaining information about jaguars living in areas used for livestock production and tourism in the Pantanal. With the results, the project wants to create a model for rural properties that favors the best condition of co-existence between jaguars, ranchers and tourists. Besides promoting continuous environmental education in the region.

The project is based in the middle Negro River, Pantanal region and covers an area of approximately 60'000 acres (600 km2). The study base is located at Fazenda Barranco Alto.



Giant Armadillo

The giant armadillo is the largest of the armadillo species. Due to its natural behavior and low population densities, almost nothing is known about this endangered species.

The main objective of this project is establish a long-term ecological study of giant armadillos as well as other species of Xenarthra in the Brazilian Pantanal. As a second objective, the project wants to use these species as ambassadors for biodiversity conservation through education, outreach initiatives, and media campaigns.

Some of the key activities in the project include:

  • Research on the ecology and biology of giant armadillos to understand their behavior in the ecosystem.
  • Research on armadillo health
  • Education and training of biologists, veterinarians and professionals interested in conservation of this species.
  • Environmental Education using giant armadillos as ambassadors for biodiversity conservation
  • Campaigns and outreach for key environmental threats
  • Scientific Tourism

Regarding Scientific Tourism, the project organizes monthly expeditions lasting 15 to 20 days.

It is important to point out that from January through May, it is the rainy season in the Pantanal, and parts of the region become flooded and this might change the activities of the expedition.

Some of the activities include:

  • Capture and monitoring of giant armadillos and Southern naked tailed armadillos. Capturing giant armadillos is NOT easy we have gone through periods of 9 months without a single capture, despite our constant expeditions.
  • Monitoring of burrows through camera traps,
  • Collection of fecal samples,
  • Presentations to visitors about the ranch outreach program,
  • Visits to neighboring ranches and educational activities with local schools.

For more information about this project, please visit:

Lowland Tapir

This project has the objective of establishing a long term monitoring program for the lowland tapir, in order to investigate population demography, habitat use and animal movement, genetic profile, and health status of the lowland tapir population in three selected study areas of the Brazilian Pantanal.

With the data collected scientists and researchers will assess the conservation status and viability of the lowland tapir populations in the Pantanal and will design a specific set of recommendations for the conservation of lowland tapirs in the region.

With the information collected in the Pantanal a comparison will be made with results obtained from previous long-term research in the Atlantic Forests Region.

For more information, please visit: 

Onçafari Jaguar Project

The Onçafari Jaguar Project is a ground-breaking conservation initiative promoting ecotourism in the Brazilian Pantanal. This is done by habituating* Jaguars in order for people to witness the fascinating behaviour of these magnificent animals, from the safety of a vehicle, while on safari.

Ecotourism is now used as an important conservation tool in many places globally, providing an important source of income for landowners and local communities who in turn, do their part by ensuring that the ecosystem remains intact; large tracts of land are conserved around the world in this manner.

*To habituate an animal is very different from domesticating it. When a Jaguar is habituated it simply stops perceiving our vehicles as a threat and acts relaxed and normally in our presence. It still remains a completely wild cat. This entire process is being monitored by CENAP, National Research Center for Carnivores Conservation for the Brazilian Ministry of Environment. 

It is possible to accompany the Onçafari Jaguar Project during your stay at the Caiman Ecological Refuge

Cristalino Foundation

Since 1999, the Cristalino Jungle Lodge has been supporting the Cristalino Foundation in its initiatives geared to environmental education, human development, creating economic alternatives for the local population, minimizing environmental impacts, research and sustainability in the region. We seek solutions through the integration of people with the environment. That means teaching them about environmental issues and taking concrete steps to improve the local quality of life. 

The Cristalino Foundation is based in the municipality of Alta Floresta, in the far north of the state of Mato Grosso, and most of the projects are focused on municipalities situated in the vicinity of the Cristalino State Park. It operates in the following four areas:

Monitoring and conservation of the forest reserves where the Cristalino Lodge is located is performed by the Cristalino Foundation, alongside a participatory committee. Management plans have been developed for the reserves around the Cristalino Lodge, in order to regulate the activities and use of the area, as well as to identify the conservation, research and maintenance priorities.

The School of the Amazon education program invites students from the region’s schools to conduct forest immersion activities involving practical and theoretical classes about the ecosystem, aimed at creating a positive relationship with the forest.
Participants learn about the importance of the ecosystem and discuss related topics, such as waste, fire, poaching, rainfall, prospecting and conservation.

We believe that knowledge has considerable value. Through the generation and dissemination of knowledge, one can better understand the wealth of the southern Amazon and the importance of its conservation. Every year, research is carried out on the biodiversity of the Cristalino area, covering subjects such as the birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, and butterflies, among others, and also regarding important matters such as water resources, soil contamination, etc..

Activities, including partnerships, to restore degraded areas and natural springs, thereby contributing to the preservation of the area’s water resources.It also involves planning sustainable businesses for local producers and socio-economic studies to help families living in the vicinity of the conservation areas.