The endangered 200 real bill

This week, the Brazilian Central Bank put the country’s new BRL 200 bill into circulation. According to the institution, the decision to create the new banknote — worth roughly USD 38 — came as the use of printed money increased in Brazil during the Covid-19 pandemic. Experts, however, say larger notes make life easier for money launderers and drug trafficking.

We’ve already covered the economic pros and cons of the new bill, but today we’re looking at the design. As other Brazilian denominations are printed with traditionally Brazilian animals, the Central Bank chose the maned wolf to adorn the BRL 200 note. Neither a fox nor a wolf — while resembling both — the maned wolf is found throughout central South America, and it has Near-Threatened status from the International Union for Conservation of Nature. 

And while the BRL 200 bill goes into circulation, one of the maned wolf’s main habitats — the Pantanal tropical savannah — is under threat by intense waves of fires. The central-western region has recorded the second-highest number of blazes this year since 1998, with experts estimating there are as many as 5,935 uncontrolled fires in August alone. 

And the Pantanal is not alone: the Amazon rainforest, Brazil’s largest biome, is also struggling to fight the increase of fires, with almost 30,000 occurring in different areas throughout August — 12.4 percent more than the historical average. 

To news website G1, the executive director of NGO S.O.S Pantanal, Felipe Augusto Dias, said that the fires are caused by humans. The Brazilian Report also showed that the Amazon suffers from the same problem, with deforestation skyrocketing for the 14th straight month in Brazil. 

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