Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom
The greatest cat in the Americas—the jaguar—is a symbol for strength, power, and wilderness. Jaguars thrive in the fabled Pantanal of Brazil, but in the Ibera wetlands of Argentina, they’ve been gone for nearly a century. Now one of the most ambitious wildlife projects in the world is working to bring them back—along with a “Noah’s Ark” of South American wildlife that was lost in a tragic era of exploitation and overhunting. Far-sighted conservationists Doug and Kris Tompkins have a vision of restoring this landscape to its primeval grandeur, and miraculously, it’s working. Join us for a new presentation by renowned photographer Frans Lanting and his partner Chris Eckstrom in celebration of two wilderness areas in South America—Brazil’s Pantanal and Argentina’s Ibera. Frans and Chris recently returned from a month of travel in this unique part of the world with fresh impressions. They will regale us with their images, stories, and videos about the natural and human history of these spectacular wetlands which are home to the “giants” of South America: the giant anteater, giant otter, rhino-like tapirs, colorful macaws—the largest parrots in the world, endearing capybaras—Earth’s largest rodent, and of course, the jaguar—largest cat in the Americas. Frans and Chris will share personal observations and highlight conservation successes here that inspire hope. Proceeds will benefit the marine science education and conservation programs at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center at UCSC’s Long Marine Lab.