Eastern Congolian swamp forests
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|Eastern Congolian swamp forests|
|Biome||Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests|
|Area||92,700 km2 (35,800 sq mi)|
|Country||Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|Conservation status||relatively stable|
The Eastern Congolese swamp forests are a fairly intact but underresearched ecoregion of the tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests biome. It is located within the Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of the Congo. This is the eastern half of one of the largest areas of swamps in the world.
The swamp forest is flat, wet forest between 300–400 metres (980–1,310 ft) 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 area near Kisangani.
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 eastern 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).
Endemic amphibians and reptiles include a small frog (Cryptothylax minutus), Chapin's chameleon (Trioceros chapini), a wall lizard (Gastropholis tropidopholis), the Zaire snake-eater (Polemon robustus), and a worm lizard (Zygaspis dolichomenta).
Threats and conservation
The Congo River allows access to these forests with subsequent logging and poaching of wildlife, particularly of forest elephants.
- "Eastern Congolian swamp forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.
- Eoearth.org: Salonga National Park
- Plexusowls.com: Detailed study of Salonga National Park
- Zoosociety.org: Bonobo conservation in Salonga National Park