My first birding trip outside Ecuador was fantastic and added nearly 200 new birds to my list. My wife and I spent two weeks in Brazil birding the Atlantic Forest and The Pantanal. This was an amazing experience which confirmed the continued destruction of the forest caused by the insatiable expansionism of humans. Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world and also has the fifth place in the countries with the highest population to feed.
Brazil exports 25% of the world raw cane and refined sugar, is the world leader in soybean production, and produces 80% of the worlds orange juice market. Brazil’s 20% of the labor force is directly related to agriculture so maybe now you can imagine how serious deforestation is in Brazil. Here is more info in wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deforestation_in_Brazil
So what about the birds? Well, it is not too late to see them yet, but the economic and food world pressures will continue to destroy the biodiversity that supports wild life. I am presenting this grim picture because I was very shocked by the destruction which parallels the destruction in my own country but only in a much, much, much larger scale.
Finally the birds! The Atlantic forest is huge and follows the coastline of Brazil where large cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo have grown out of control leaving behind only 7% of the original forest! This is a very wet forest which is totally isolated from the Amazon forest by a very large dry plateau. This isolation gave birth to amazing endemism in the region with 199 endemic birds and 98 of them are in risk of extinction due to severe habitat loss.
Here is a tiny sample of the birds: