Uruguay the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, is a country in the southeastern region of South America. It borders Argentina to its west and Brazil to its north and east, with the Río de la Plata to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast. Uruguay is home to an estimated 3.44 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the metropolitan area of its capital and largest city, Montevideo. With an area of 176,000 square kilometres, Uruguay is geographically the second-smallest nation in South America, after Suriname. Uruguay was inhabited by the Charrúa people for 4,000 years before the Portuguese established Colonia del Sacramento in 1680. Montevideo was founded as a military stronghold by the Spanish in the early 18th century, signifying the competing claims over the region. Uruguay won its independence between 1811 and 1828, following a four-way struggle between Spain and Argentina and Brazil, it remained subject to foreign influence and intervention throughout the 19th century, with the military playing a recurring role in domestic politics.
A series of economic crises put an end to a democratic period that had begun in the early 20th century, culminating in a 1973 coup, which established a civic-military dictatorship. The military government persecuted leftists and political opponents, resulting in several deaths and numerous instances of torture by the military. Uruguay is today a democratic constitutional republic, with a president who serves as both head of state and head of government. Uruguay is ranked first in Latin America in democracy, low perception of corruption, e-government, is first in South America when it comes to press freedom, size of the middle class and prosperity. On a per-capita basis, Uruguay contributes more troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions than any other country, it tops the rank of absence of a unique position within South America. It ranks second in the region on economic freedom, income equality, per-capita income and inflows of FDI. Uruguay is the third-best country on the continent in terms of HDI, GDP growth and infrastructure.
It is regarded as a high-income country by the UN. Uruguay was ranked the third-best in the world in e-Participation in 2014. Uruguay is an important global exporter of combed wool, soybeans, frozen beef and milk. Nearly 95% of Uruguay's electricity comes from renewable energy hydroelectric facilities and wind parks. Uruguay is a founding member of the United Nations, OAS, Mercosur, UNASUR and NAM. Uruguay is regarded as one of the most advanced countries in Latin America, it ranks high on global measures of personal rights and inclusion issues. The Economist named Uruguay "country of the year" in 2013, acknowledging the policy of legalizing the production and consumption of cannabis; the name of the namesake river comes from the Spanish pronunciation of the regional Guarani word for it. There are several interpretations, including "bird-river"; the name could refer to a river snail called uruguá, plentiful in the water. In Spanish colonial times, for some time thereafter and some neighbouring territories were called the Cisplatina and Banda Oriental for a few years the "Eastern Province".
Since its independence, the country has been known as la República Oriental del Uruguay, which means "the eastern republic of the Uruguay ". However, it is translated either as the "Oriental Republic of Uruguay" or the "Eastern Republic of Uruguay"; the documented inhabitants of Uruguay before European colonization of the area were the Charrúa, a small tribe driven south by the Guarani of Paraguay. It is estimated that there were about 9,000 Charrúa and 6,000 Chaná and Guaraní at the time of contact with Europeans in the 1500s. Fructuoso Rivera - Uruguay's first president – organized the Charruas' genocide; the Portuguese were the first Europeans to enter the region of present-day Uruguay in 1512. The Spanish arrived in present-day Uruguay in 1516; the indigenous peoples' fierce resistance to conquest, combined with the absence of gold and silver, limited their settlement in the region during the 16th and 17th centuries. Uruguay became a zone of contention between the Spanish and Portuguese empires.
In 1603, the Spanish began to introduce cattle. The first permanent Spanish settlement was founded in 1624 at Soriano on the Río Negro. In 1669–71, the Portuguese built a fort at Colonia del Sacramento. Montevideo was founded by the Spanish in the early 18th century as a military stronghold in the country, its natural harbor soon developed into a commercial area competing with Río de la Plata's capital, Buenos Aires. Uruguay's early 19th century history was shaped by ongoing fights for dominance in the Platine region, between British, Spanish and other colonial forces. In 1806 and 1807, the British army attempted to seize Buenos Aires and Montevideo as part of the Napoleonic Wars. Montevideo was occupied by a British force from February to September 1807. In 1811, José Gervasio Artigas, who became Uruguay's national hero, launched a successful revolt against the Spanish authorities, defeating them on 18 May at the Battle of Las Piedras. In 1813, the new government in Buenos Aires convened a constituent assembly where Artigas emerged as a champ
The Uruguay River is a river in South America. It flows from north to south and forms parts of the boundaries of Brazil and Uruguay, separating some of the Argentine provinces of La Mesopotamia from the other two countries, it passes between the states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. The river measures about 1,838 kilometres in length and starts in the Serra do Mar in Brazil, where the Canoas River and the Pelotas River are joined, at about 200 metres above mean sea level. In this stage the river falls, its course through Rio Grande do. An unusual feature of the Uruguay River is a submerged canyon; this canyon formed during the Ice Age, when the climate was drier and the river was narrower. Its depth is up to 100 metres below the bottom of the river channel and it is 1/8 to 1/3 as wide as the river; the canyon is only visible in two places, one of, the Moconá Falls. However, the falls are not visible for 150 days per year and become more like rapids when they are not visible. Unlike most waterfalls, the Moconá Falls are parallel to the river, not perpendicular.
The falls are 10 metres to 12 metres high and between 1,800 metres and 3,000 metres wide. They are 1,215 kilometres from the mouth of the river; the 17,491 hectares Turvo State Park, created in 1947, protects the Brazilian side of the falls. Together with the Paraná River, the Uruguay forms the Río de la Plata estuary, it is navigable from around Salto Chico. Its main tributary is the Río Negro, born in the south of Brazil and goes through Uruguay for 500 km until its confluence with the Uruguay River, located 100 km north of the Uruguay's confluence with the Río de la Plata, in Punta Gorda, Colonia Department, Uruguay; the river is crossed by five international bridges called: Integration Bridge and Paso de los Libres-Uruguaiana International Bridge, between Argentina and Brazil. The drainage basin of the Uruguay River has an area of 365,000 square kilometres, its main economic use is the generation of hydroelectricity and it is dammed in its lower portion by the Salto Grande Dam and by the Itá Dam upstream in Brazil.
The name of the river comes from the Spanish settlers' interpretation of the Guaraní language word the inhabitants of the region used to designate it. There are several interpretations, including "the river of the uru", " the uruguá". Argentina and Uruguay experienced a conflict over the construction of pulp mills on the Uruguay River. Two European companies, ENCE and Botnia, proposed building cellulose processing plants at Fray Bentos, opposite Gualeguaychú, Argentina. According to a 1975 treaty and Uruguay were supposed to jointly agree on matters relating to the Uruguay River. Argentina alleged. Additionally, Argentina believed the Finnish company Botnia was polluting the fish and the overall environment of the river while Uruguay believed that the plant was not depositing a large amount of toxins in the Uruguay River. Starting in April 2005, residents of Gualeguaychú, as well as many others, claiming that the plants would pollute the river shared by the two countries. Early in 2006, the conflict escalated into a diplomatic crisis, compelling one of the companies move the project 250 kilometres south.
Beginning in December 2005, the international bridges linking the Argentine province of Entre Ríos with Uruguay were intermittently blockaded by Argentine protesters, causing major disruptions in commercial traffic and tourism. In 2006, Argentina brought the dispute before the International Court of Justice; the ICJ completed hearings between Argentina and Uruguay regarding the dispute on October 2, 2009. In 2010, the court ruled that although Uruguay failed to inform Argentina of the construction of the pulp mills, the mills did not pollute the river, so closing the remaining pulp mill would be unjustified. In 2010, Argentina and Uruguay created a joint commission to coordinate activities on the river; the course of the Uruguay is crossed by the following bridges, beginning upstream: List of rivers of the Americas Geography of Uruguay Tributaries of the Río de la Plata Media related to Uruguay River at Wikimedia Commons Salto Grande Hydroelectric System Uruguay River at GEOnet Names Server Río Uruguay at GEOnet Names Server Rio Uruguai at GEOnet Names Server "Map of the Uruguay River from Yapeyu to the Farm of Sn. Gregorio" from 1784
Asunción is the capital and largest city of Paraguay. The city is located on the left bank of the Paraguay River at the confluence of this river with the River Pilcomayo, on the South American continent; the Paraguay River and the Bay of Asunción in the northwest separate the city from the Occidental Region of Paraguay and Argentina in the south part of the city. The rest of the city is surrounded by the Central Department; the city is an autonomous capital district, not a part of any department. The metropolitan area, called Gran Asunción, includes the cities of San Lorenzo, Fernando de la Mora, Lambaré, Mariano Roque Alonso, Ñemby, San Antonio, Capiatá and Villa Elisa, which are part of the Central Department; the Asunción metropolitan area has around two million inhabitants. The Municipality of Asunción is listed on the Asunción Stock Exchange, as BVPASA: MUA. Asunción is one of the oldest cities in South America and the longest continually inhabited area in the Río de la Plata Basin. From Asunción the colonial expeditions departed to found other cities, including the second foundation of Buenos Aires and other important cities such as Villarrica, Santa Fe and Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
Asunción is considered a'gamma city' by the study GaWC5. It is the home of the national government, principal port, the chief industrial and cultural center of the country. Near Asunción are the headquarters of the CONMEBOL, the continental governing body of association football in South America. Asunción is said to be one of the cheapest cities in the world for foreign visitors; the Spanish conquistador Juan de Ayolas may have first visited the site of the future city on his way north, up the Paraguay River, looking for a passage to the mines of Alto Perú. Juan de Salazar y Espinosa and Gonzalo de Mendoza, a relative of Pedro de Mendoza, were sent in search of Ayolas, but failed to find him. On his way up and down the river, de Salazar stopped at a bay in the left bank to resupply his ships, he found the natives friendly, decided to found a fort there in August 1537. He named it Nuestra Señora Santa María de la Asunción. In 1542 natives destroyed Buenos Aires, the Spaniards there fled to Asunción.
Thus the city became the center of a large Spanish colonial province comprising part of Brazil, present-day Paraguay and northeastern Argentina: the Giant Province of the Indies. In 1603 Asunción was the seat of the First Synod of Asunción, which set guidelines for the evangelization of the natives in their lingua franca, Guaraní. In 1731 an uprising under José de Antequera y Castro was one of the first rebellions against Spanish colonial rule; the uprising failed, but it was the first sign of the independent spirit, growing among the criollos and natives of Paraguay. The event influenced the independence of Paraguay, which subsequently materialised in 1811; the secret meetings between the independence leaders to plan an ambush against the Spanish Governor in Paraguay took place at the home of Juana María de Lara, in downtown Asunción. On the night of May 14 and May 15, 1811, the rebels succeeded and forced governor Velasco to surrender. Today, Lara's former home, known as Casa de la Independencia, operates as a museum and historical building.
After Paraguay became independent, significant change occurred in Asunción. Under the rule of Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia roads were built throughout the city and the streets were named. However, during the presidency of Carlos Antonio López Asunción saw further progress as the new president implemented new economic policies. More than 400 schools, metallurgic factories and the first railroad service in South America were built during the López presidency. After López died, his son Francisco Solano López became the new president and led the country through the disastrous Paraguayan War that lasted for five years. After the end of the armed conflict, Brazilian troops occupied Asunción until 1876. Many historians have claimed that this war provoked a steady downfall of the city and country, since it massacred two thirds of the country's population. Progress slowed down afterwards, the economy stagnated. After the Paraguayan War, Asunción began a slow attempt at recovery. Towards the end of the 19th century and during the early years of the 20th century, a flow of immigrants from Europe and the Ottoman Empire came to the city.
This led to a change in the appearance of the city as many new buildings were built and Asunción went through an era more prosperous than any since the war. Asunción is located between the parallels 25° 15' and 25° 20' of south latitude and between the meridians 57° 40' and 57° 30' of west longitude; the city sits on the left bank of the Paraguay River at the confluence of this river with the River Pilcomayo. The Paraguay River and the Bay of Asunción in the northwest separate the city from the Occidental Region of Paraguay and Argentina in the south part of the city; the rest of the city is surrounded by the Central Department. With its location along the Paraguay River, the city offers many landscapes. Places such as Cerro Lambaré, a hill located in Lambaré, offer a spectacular show in the springtime because of the blossoming lapacho trees in the area. Parks such as Parque Independencia and Parque Carlos Antonio López offer large areas of typical Paraguayan vegetation and are frequented by tourists.
The Paraguay River is a major river in south-central South America, running through Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina. It flows about 2,621 kilometres from its headwaters in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso to its confluence with the Paraná River north of Corrientes and Resistencia; the Paraguay's source is south of Diamantino in the Mato Grosso state of Brazil. It follows a southwesterly course, passing through the Brazilian city of Cáceres, it turns in a southward direction, flowing through the Pantanal wetlands, the city of Corumbá running close to the Brazil-Bolivia border for a short distance in the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul. From the city of Puerto Bahia Negra, the river forms the border between Paraguay and Brazil, flowing due south before the confluence with the Apa River; the Paraguay makes a long, gentle curve to the south-southeast before resuming a more south-southwesterly course, dividing the country of Paraguay into two distinct halves: the Gran Chaco region to the west, a uninhabited semi-arid region.
As such the river is considered the key geographical feature of the country with which it shares its name. Some 400 kilometres after flowing through the middle of Paraguay, at the confluence with the Pilcomayo River and passing the Paraguayan capital city, Asunción, the river forms the border with Argentina, flowing south-southwesterly for another 275 kilometres before it reaches its end, joining with the Paraná River; the Paraguay River is the second major river of the Rio de la Plata Basin, after the Paraná River. The Paraguay's drainage basin, about 1,095,000 square kilometres, covers a vast area that includes major portions of Argentina, southern Brazil, parts of Bolivia, most of the country of Paraguay. Unlike many of the other great rivers of the Rio de la Plata Basin, the Paraguay has not been dammed for hydroelectric power generation; this makes it an important shipping and trade corridor, providing a much-needed link to the Atlantic Ocean for the otherwise landlocked nations of Paraguay and Bolivia.
It serves such important cities as Concepción in Paraguay and Formosa in Argentina. The river is a source of commerce in the form of fishing, provides irrigation for agriculture along its route; as such it provides a way of life for a number of poor fishermen who live along its banks and make the majority of their income selling fish in local markets, as well as supplying a major source of sustenance for their families. This has created issues in large cities such as Asunción, where poverty-stricken farmers from the country's interior have populated the river's banks in search of an easier lifestyle. Seasonal flooding of the river's banks sometimes forces many thousands of displaced residents to seek temporary shelter until the waters recede from their homes; the Paraguayan military has been forced to dedicate land on one of its reserves in the capital to emergency housing for these displaced citizens. The river is a tourist attraction for its beauty; the Paraguay River is the primary waterway of the 147,629-square-kilometre Pantanal wetlands of southern Brazil, northern Paraguay and parts of Bolivia.
The Pantanal is the world's largest tropical wetland and is dependent upon waters provided by the Paraguay River. Owing to its importance as a navigable waterway serving Brazil and Paraguay, the river has been the focus of commercial and industrial development. In 1997 the governments of the nations of the La Plata Basin proposed a plan under the Hidrovia Inter-Governmental Commission agency to develop the rivers into an industrial waterway system to help reduce the costs of exporting goods from the area, in particular the soybean crop that the area has embraced; the plan entailed constructing more hydroelectric dams along some of the waterways, along with a massive effort to restructure the navigable waterways—most notably the Paraguay River—through dredging of the waterway, rock removal and channel restructuring. Studies indicated that the proposed river engineering of the Paraguay would have a devastating impact on the Pantanal wetlands. An effort by the Rios Vivos coalition to educate people on the effects of the project was successful in delaying the project, the nations involved agreed to reformulate their plan.
The final plan is still uncertain, along with the effect it will have on the Pantanal and the ecology of the entire Río de la Plata basin. The controversy over whether or not the project will have a disastrous effect on the local ecology, as well as the potential economic gains, continues to this day; the Paraguay River basin includes several distinctive habitats, ranging from clear waters such as Rio da Prata near Bonito in the upper part to the sediment-rich Bermejo River in the lower part. The suspended load of the Paraguay River is about 100 milligrams per litre before the inflow of Bermejo, but rises to about 600 milligrams per litre after. Directly after the inflow of Bermejo River, the pH of the Paraguay River may reach up to 8.2. The typical pH of the Paraguay River is 6.3 -- 7.9 in the lower part. The peak of the flood season in the Paraguay River is delayed 4—6 months compared to the peak of the rainy season due to t
Brazil the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, its most populated city is São Paulo; the federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas. Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 kilometers, it borders all other South American countries except Ecuador and Chile and covers 47.3% of the continent's land area. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats; this unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, is the subject of significant global interest and debate regarding deforestation and environmental protection.
Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. In 1815, the colony was elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil, a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system; the ratification of the first constitution in 1824 led to the formation of a bicameral legislature, now called the National Congress. The country became a presidential republic in 1889 following a military coup d'état. An authoritarian military junta came to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985, after which civilian governance resumed. Brazil's current constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as a democratic federal republic. Due to its rich culture and history, the country ranks thirteenth in the world by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Brazil is considered an advanced emerging economy. It has the ninth largest GDP in the world by nominal, eight and PPP measures, it is one of the world's major breadbaskets, being the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years. It is classified as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank and a newly industrialized country, with the largest share of global wealth in Latin America. Brazil is a regional power and sometimes considered a great or a middle power in international affairs. On account of its international recognition and influence, the country is subsequently classified as an emerging power and a potential superpower by several analysts. Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations, the G20, BRICS, Union of South American Nations, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, it is that the word "Brazil" comes from the Portuguese word for brazilwood, a tree that once grew plentifully along the Brazilian coast.
In Portuguese, brazilwood is called pau-brasil, with the word brasil given the etymology "red like an ember", formed from brasa and the suffix -il. As brazilwood produces a deep red dye, it was valued by the European textile industry and was the earliest commercially exploited product from Brazil. Throughout the 16th century, massive amounts of brazilwood were harvested by indigenous peoples along the Brazilian coast, who sold the timber to European traders in return for assorted European consumer goods; the official Portuguese name of the land, in original Portuguese records, was the "Land of the Holy Cross", but European sailors and merchants called it the "Land of Brazil" because of the brazilwood trade. The popular appellation eclipsed and supplanted the official Portuguese name; some early sailors called it the "Land of Parrots". In the Guarani language, an official language of Paraguay, Brazil is called "Pindorama"; this was the name the indigenous population gave to the region, meaning "land of the palm trees".
Some of the earliest human remains found in the Americas, Luzia Woman, were found in the area of Pedro Leopoldo, Minas Gerais and provide evidence of human habitation going back at least 11,000 years. The earliest pottery found in the Western Hemisphere was excavated in the Amazon basin of Brazil and radiocarbon dated to 8,000 years ago; the pottery was found near Santarém and provides evidence that the tropical forest region supported a complex prehistoric culture. The Marajoara culture flourished on Marajó in the Amazon delta from 800 CE to 1400 CE, developing sophisticated pottery, social stratification, large populations, mound building, complex social formations such as chiefdoms. Around the time of the Portuguese arrival, the territory of current day Brazil had an estimated indigenous population of 7 million people semi-nomadic who subsisted on hunting, fishing and migrant agriculture; the indigenous population of Brazil comprised several large indigenous ethnic groups. The Tupí people were subdivided into the Tupiniquins and Tupinambás, there were many subdivisions of the other gro
The Paraná Delta is the delta of the Paraná River in Argentina and it consists of several islands known as the Islas del Paraná. The Paraná flows north–south and becomes an alluvial basin between the Argentine provinces of Entre Ríos, Santa Fe and Buenos Aires emptying into the Río de la Plata, it covers about 14,000 square kilometres and starts to form between the cities of Santa Fe and Rosario, where the river splits into several arms, creating a network of islands and wetlands. Most of it is in the jurisdiction of Entre Ríos Province, parts in the north of Buenos Aires Province; the Paraná Delta is conventionally divided into three parts: the Upper Delta, from the Diamante – Puerto Gaboto line to Villa Constitución. The total length of the delta is about 320 kilometres, its width varies between 18 and 60 kilometres, it carries 160 million tonnes of suspended sediment and advances from 50 to 90 metres per year over the Río de la Plata. It is the world's only river delta, in contact not with the sea but with another river.
The Lower Delta was the site of the first modern settlements in the Paraná-Plata basin and is today densely populated, being the agricultural and industrial core of Argentina and host to several major ports. The main course of the Paraná lies on the west of the delta, is navigable downstream from Puerto General San Martín by ships up to Panamax kind. Among the many arms of the river are the Paraná Pavón, the Paraná Ibicuy, the Paraná de las Palmas, the Paraná Guazú and the smaller Paraná Miní and Paraná Bravo; the Paraná Pavón is the first major branch. It has a meandering course that starts opposite Villa Constitución. Between the main Paraná and the Paraná Pavón lie the Lechiguanas Islands; the Paraná Pavón flows east and turns south to be continued by the Ibicuy, which itself gives origin to the smaller Paranacito River, a tributary of the Uruguay River that passes by Villa Paranacito. The Paraná de las Palmas starts around the mouth of the Paraná Ibicuy, downstream from Baradero, flowing west into the province of Buenos Aires and turning southeast again.
The main course is continued by the other major branch, the Paraná Guazú. In turn, the Paraná Guazú sprouts two east-flowing branches in the territory of Entre Ríos: first the Paraná Bravo, the Paraná Miní. Due to the low elevation and the ubiquitous presence of water, the Paraná delta is subject to a particular climate within the climate zones of the Pampas; as in the entire region, there are four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and muggy. Heat waves are common, yet they are not as intense as in central Argentina, temperatures will not go much above 36 °C, although they have reached 40 °C in the past. Thunderstorms can bring heavy rain and much cooler weather; as in the entire Pampas region, summers are "cut" by short, cool periods when southerly Pampero winds blow. March is noticeably cooler than the summer, April is characterized by pleasant weather: highs range from 21 °C to 25 °C, nights from 10 °C to 14 °C, May is generally cool, with chilly nights. Winter runs from late May to late August.
Temperatures range from 13 °C to 18 °C, while nights go from 3 °C to 7 °C, with lower precipitation but higher cloudiness and common fog. As in the entire Pampas region, there are brief, mild spells in the winter when the temperatures might reach 25 °C, followed by much colder weather and frosty nights. Temperatures reach 0 °C several times a year, yet they fall much lower than -3 °C, with record lows approaching -7 °C; however speaking, the windy, humid weather makes it feel chillier than indicated by real temperatures. Spring is delightful, yet sudden changes may occur: summer-like and winter-like temperatures alternate, there may be a large difference between day and night temperatures, it is the season most prone to violent weather. October has the same average temperatures as April, with cooler nights, yet extremes of heat and cold are more likely: frost may occur, as may temperatures of 35 °C, sometimes within the same week. Precipitation in the region ranges from 1,000 to 1,400 millimetres, with two peaks in late spring / early summer, late summer / early fall, a drier, yet cloudier winter.
The flood plain of the river is part of the Paraná Delta and Islands Ecoregion. The original ecosystem in the Lower Delta, has been modified by deforestation, hunting and the introduction of foreign species of flora, as well as damaged by domestic and industrial pollution, it hosts species such as the marsh deer, the capybara, the neotropical river otter, the Pampas cat, the jaguar, the coypu and the red-faced guan, some of them endangered. The Predelta National Park, created in 1992, protects a sample of the Upper Delta, it is in the southwest of Entre Ríos, 6 kilometres south of Diamante, has an area of 24.58 square kilometres, occupied by low-lying islands subject to flooding, as well as lagoons and swamps. The Paraná Delta Biosphere Reserve is composed of the second and third se
The Paraná River is a river in south Central South America, running through Brazil and Argentina for some 4,880 kilometres. It is second in length only to the Amazon River among South American rivers; the name Paraná is an abbreviation of the phrase "para rehe onáva", which comes from the Tupi language and means "like the sea". It merges first with the Paraguay River and farther downstream with the Uruguay River to form the Río de la Plata and empties into the Atlantic Ocean; the first European to go up the Paraná River was the Venetian explorer Sebastian Cabot, in 1526, while working for Spain. The course is formed at the confluence of the Rio Grande rivers in southern Brazil. From the confluence the river flows in a southwestern direction for about 619 km before encountering the city of Saltos del Guaira, Paraguay; this was once the location of the Guaíra Falls (Sete Quedas waterfalls, where the Paraná fell over a series of seven cascades. This natural feature was said to rival the world-famous Iguazu Falls to the south.
The falls were flooded, however, by the construction of the Itaipu Dam, which began operating in 1984. For the next 200 km the Paraná flows southward and forms a natural boundary between Paraguay and Brazil until the confluence with the Iguazu River. Shortly upstream from this confluence, the river is dammed by the Itaipu Dam, the second largest hydroelectric power plant in the world, creating a massive, shallow reservoir behind it. After merging with the Iguazu, the Paraná becomes the natural border between Paraguay and Argentina. Overlooking the Paraná River from Encarnación, across the river, is downtown Posadas, Argentina; the river continues its general southward course for about 468 km before making a gradual turn to the west for another 820 km, encounters the Paraguay River, the largest tributary along the course of the river. Before this confluence the river passes through a second major hydroelectric project, the Yaciretá Dam, a joint project between Paraguay and Argentina; the massive reservoir formed by the project has been the source of a number of problems for people living along the river, most notably the poorer merchants and residents in the low-lying areas of Encarnación, a major city on the southern border of Paraguay.
River levels rose upon completion of the dam, flooding out large sections of the city's lower areas. From the confluence with the Paraguay River, the Paraná again turns to the south for another 820 km through Argentina, making a slow turn back to the east near the city of Rosario for the final stretch of less than 500 km before merging with the Uruguay River to form the Río de la Plata; this flows into the Atlantic Ocean. During the part of its course downstream from the city of Diamante, Entre Ríos, it splits into several arms and it forms the Paraná Delta. Together with its tributaries, the Rio Paraná forms a massive drainage basin that encompasses much of the southcentral part of South America including all of Paraguay, much of southern Brazil, northern Argentina, the southeastern part of Bolivia. If the Uruguay River is counted as a tributary to the Paraná, this watershed extends to cover most of Uruguay as well; the volume of water flowing into the Atlantic Ocean through the Río de la Plata equals the volume at the Mississippi River delta.
This watershed contains a number of large cities, including São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Asunción, Brasília, La Plata. The Paraná and its tributaries provide a source of income and of daily sustenance for fishermen who live along its banks; some of the species of fish are commercially important, they are exploited for heavy internal consumption or for export. The Parana River delta ranks as one of the world's greatest bird-watching destinations. Much of the length of the Paraná is navigable, the river serves as an important waterway linking inland cities in Argentina and Paraguay with the ocean, providing deepwater ports in some of these cities; the construction of enormous hydroelectric dams along the river's length has blocked its use as a shipping corridor to cities further upstream, but the economic impact of those dams offsets this. The Yacyretá Dam and the Itaipu Dam on the Paraguay border have made the small undeveloped nation of Paraguay the world's largest exporter of hydroelectric power.
Due to its use for oceangoing ships, measurements of the water tables extend back to 1904. The data correlates with the solar cycle; the course of the Paraná is crossed by the following bridges, beginning upstream: Tributaries of the Río de la Plata Paraná River steamers Information and a map of the Paraná's watershed "Paraná". New International Encyclopedia. 1905