The Source, our Annual Review 2019

STORY HIGHLIGHTS The Parana delta’s hydrology is economically and ecologically important. It sustains ranching, fishing, beekeeping, handicrafts, tourism and recreation. Ranching should be done in a way that does not damage the wider ecosystem services of the delta. Wetlands International encourages ranchers to move their cattle with the water and take advantage of the flood pulse to improve the quality of pastures.


By Fred Pearce

Hidrovia, a planned shipping highway, poses a “big threat” to these wetlands.

Buenos Aires is spreading. The Argentinian metropolis has a population of more than 13 million, and is pushing out across its hinterland on the Paraná Delta at the mouth of the Plata estuary, draining the delta as it goes. Meanwhile, ranchers have relocated their cattle from the grasslands of the pampas onto the delta. Wetlands International has been working in 2019 with the delta’s inhabitants and regulators to turn this human and livestock tide, and protect one of South America’s most important wetlands. The Paraná Delta covers 1.7 million hectares, the size of Northern Ireland. It is the endpoint of the Paraguay-Paraná river system, which drains a huge area of South America, including all of Paraguay, and much of Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina. Its freshwater marshes, widely used for cattle grazing, are dotted with islands where most of its more than 40,000 inhabitants live.

The freshwater marshes of the Paraná Delta are widely used for cattle grazing.



Wetlands Annual Review 2019

Wetlands Annual Review 2019

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