Chaco wilderness

The Great Chaco is one of the least known South American ecoregions, but also one of the largest (second largest forest, after the Amazon) and most important of the continent.

Covering most of central-north Argentina, east Bolivia, west Paraguay and a small part of Brazil, the Great Chaco is diverse and can be divided in different types of forests and savannas, depending on their geography and humidity: the Humid Chaco, located in the east; the Dry Chaco to the west; Arid Chaco in the driest parts of the territory; and Sierran Chaco in the mountain areas. This diversity is also shown on its bird fauna, with lots of specialties: Quebracho Crested-Tinamou, Chaco Eagle, Chaco Chachalaca, Black-legged Seriema, Chaco Owl, Chaco Puffbird, Black-bodied Woodpecker, Great Rufous Woodcreeper, Chaco Earthcreeper, Crested Hornero, Lark-like Brushrunner, Stripe-backed Antbird, Crested Gallito, Olive-crowned Crescentchest, Salinas Monjita, Cinereous Tyrant, Many-colored Chaco-Finch and more.

Great Chaco wildlife includes some of the most attractive South American mammals, such as Giant Anteater, Giant Armadillo, Maned Wolf, Jaguar, Puma and Brazilian Tapir, as well as other vertebrates such as the Argentine Boa (a local subspecies of Boa constrictor), Yellow Anaconda and a great diversity of frogs which are especially adapted to semi-desert conditions. The landscapes include palm savannas, humid forests, dry scrublands, salt plains, lagoons and some great wetlands such as the amazing Bañado La Estrella.

Although ecotourism development in most of the Great Chaco is still incipient, there are some very accesible places to visit, as well as many other extremely rewarding sites for the more adventurer birders.