Eastern Congolian swamp forests

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The Eastern Congolian swamp forests are a fairly intact but underresearched ecoregion within the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This is the eastern half of one the largest area of swamp in the world.

Setting[edit]

This is an area of 60,000 m2 flat, wet forest between 300m and 400m in elevation on the left bank of the River Congo and spreading across a swathe of the Congo Basin including some of the Congo's largest tributaries and the Stanley Falls near Kisangani. [1]

Flora[edit]

The forest is a mixture of wetland and swamp with drier forest and savanna flooded seasonally by the Congo and its tributaries.

Fauna[edit]

The region has been insufficiently researched by zoologists but is known to be home to forest elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis)(which may have been reduced by poaching, especially near the larger rivers), and several primates, including the rare bonobo (pan paniscus). The Congo is a natural barrier to movement of wildlife and many species only occur on this left side of the river, including many primates: the bonobo and also Angolan colobus (Colobus angolensis), Wolf's Mona Monkey (Cercopithecus wolfi), Golden-bellied mangabey (Cercocebus galeritus chrysogaster), black mangabey (Lophocebus atterimus aterrimus), southern talapoin (Miopithecus talapoin) and the Dryas Monkey (Cercopithecus dryas). Near-endemic mammals include Hutterer's brush-furred mouse (Lophuromys huttereri), Allen's striped bat (Chalinolobus alboguttatus), and Muton's soft-furred mouse (Praomys mutoni).

These rainforests are rich in birdlife including Congo Sunbird (Cinnyris congensis), African River Martin (Pseudochelidon eurystomina, DD) and the Congo Martin (Riparia congica).

Endemic amphibians and reptiles include a small frog (Cryptothylax minutus), a chameleon (Trioceros chapini), a wall lizard Gastropholis tropidopholis, the Zaire snake-eater Polemon robustus, and a worm lizard Zygaspis dolichomenta.

Threats and conservation[edit]

The Congo River allows access to these forests with subsequent logging and poaching of wildlife, particularly of elephants. Protected areas include the huge Salonga National Park, and the Réserve Naturelle Lomako Yokokala.


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ World Wildlife Fund (2001). "Eastern Congolian swamp forests". WildWorld Ecoregion Profile. National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 2010-03-08. 

External links[edit]