Vegetation and wildlife of Congo
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The tropical region
The tropical regions extend from the equator to the tropic, that is tropic of cancer and tropic of Capricorn, in both the hemisphere. These regions are marked by extreme heat and humidity because of the sun’s direct rays falling in the area. This hot and humid region consists of great biodiversity. The Democratic Republic of Congo falls in this equatorial, hot and humid region. So it consists of great biodiversity:
• The Congo Clawless Otter is found in the basin of Africa; it is extremely rare and nearly close to extinction.• Over 250 different species of birds have been noted. Among these are ducks, herons, storks, pelicans, parrots, and sea swallows that migrate from Europe. • The popular Black Hippo spends most of its time in the waters of the river. It likes the deep lakes and rivers that are close to the grassland. The deep water of the Congo provides enough water for the hippo to be submerged so that it doesn’t become dehydrated under the harsh hot climate.• Manatee• Water Snake• Various reptiles• Crocodiles• Tortoises• Over 200 fish species• Pigs• Elephants• Damp air and humid temperatures create ideal conditions for mosquitoes and gnats and other insects and various other animals are also found. Some species are extinct and some others are yet to be discovered, and others have been discovered since but are not in this article:(
The vegetation of the country, especially in the rainforest, is extremely rich and diversified. Rubber trees of various species and oil palms are indigenous to the region, as are coffee and cotton. Among the native fruit trees are banana, coconut palm, and plantain. Timber trees occur abundantly in a large variety of species, including teak, ebony, African cedar, mahogany, iroko, and redwood. Animal life is abundant and varied, and Congo-Kinshasa is home to important populations of several endangered species, including gorillas. Larger animals include the elephant, lion, leopard, chimpanzee, giraffe, hippopotamus, okapi, zebra, and buffalo. The mamba, python, and crocodile are some of the numerous reptiles. Among the many species of birds are parrots, pelicans, flamingos, cuckoos, sunbirds, herons, and the spur-winged plover. Insects are exceedingly numerous, particularly ants, termites, and mosquitoes, including the Anopheles mosquito, host of the malaria parasite. Another disease-bearing insect, prevalent in the lowlands, is the tsetse fly, disseminator of sleeping sickness.
The rainforests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo contain great biodiversity, including many rare and endemic species, such as both species of chimpanzee: the common chimpanzee and the bonobo (also known as the Pygmy Chimpanzee), mountain gorilla okapi and white rhino. Five of the country's national parks are listed as World Heritage Sites: the Garumba, Kahuzi-Biega, Salongaand Virunga National Parks, and the Okapi Wildlife Reserve. The civil war and resultant poor economic conditions have endangered much of this biodiversity. Many park wardens were either killed or could not afford to continue their work. All five sites are listed by UNESCO as World Heritage In Danger.
The Congo is inhabited not only by two distinct species of chimpanzee - the Common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and the bonobo (Pan paniscus) - but by the gorilla as well. It is the only country in the world in which bonobo are found in the wild. The two species of chimpanzees, along with gorillas, are the closest living evolutionary relatives to people.
The Western Congolian swamp forests are an ecoregion of the Republic of the Congo and Democratic Republic of the Congo. Together with the adjacent Eastern Congolian swamp forests, it forms one of the largest continuous areas of freshwater swamp forest in the world. It is a flooded forest with a high canopy, dense undergrowth and has a muddy floor. It has not been disturbed very much by outside influences and so remains largely pristine as getting through this forest is called "almost impossible".
The ecoregion contains areas of permanently flooded swamp forest, seasonally flooded swamp forest, and flooded grassland. The permanently flooded swamp forests are home to extensive stands of Raphia palm. Trees in the seasonally flooded forests include species of Garcinia and Manilkara.
Animals native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo
African Bush Elephant
African Golden Cat
African Palm Civet
African Striped Weasel
Eastern Lowland Gorilla
Gallagher's free-tailed bat
Giant forest hog
Red River Hog
Western Lowland Gorilla
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the only country in the world in which bonobos (Pygmy chimpanzees) are found in the wild.