Mirror Reflections – Paraguay & Russia


“Wild” Life in Paraguay

The Gran Chaco is the largest dry forest in South America and the continent’s most extensive forested region after Amazonia. Spanning close to 400,000 square miles, it extends across parts of ArgentinaParaguay, Bolivia, and Brazil, where it connects with the Pantanal, the world’s largest wetland. Gran Chaco contains three distinct subregions with varying climates: the Humid Chaco, Dry Chaco, and Montane Chaco. These diverse environments include plains, swamps, seasonally flooded savannas, salt flats, and a great variety of forests and scrublands. The Gran Chaco provides good habitat for the Chacoan peccary, as well as the white-lipped and collared peccaries, the Chacoan hare, 10 species of armadillo, tapirs, guanacos, and jaguars. Additionally, the region is a center of cultural diversity. However, its once numerous nomadic hunters, gatherers and fishermen, together with a group of farmers who have long called Gran Chaco home, are now severely threatened by habitat degradation and loss of traditional land rights.

Visit: http://www.wcs.org/saving-wild-places/latin-america-and-the-caribbean/gran-chaco-bolivia.aspx


“Wild” Life in Russia

The word used in Russian for snow leopard, irbis, entered the language in the 17th century through Russian fur traders, who first learnt it from Turkic hunters. The word is of Mongolian origin and is said to mean “snow cat”. The name reflects the snow leopard’s natural habitat among the wind-swept and snow-capped mountains of Asia, up to 4,500 metres above sea level. The habitat range of the animal spans across parts of 13 countries – Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Human attitudes to the snow leopard have evolved over time. In the Russian Empire, the animal was ruthlessly hunted for its fur. But this began to change in the 1950s. When the Red Book of the USSR, founded in 1974, saw its first edition published in 1978, the snow leopard was classified as 3rd-category, meaning a rare species with a limited habitat……

Visit: http://programmes.putin.kremlin.ru/en/leopard/history#


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