Top 10 Facts About The Congo Basin

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					Top 10 Facts About The Congo Basin.

1. The Congo region is 300,000 square miles (777,000 square kilometres) in size.

2. The area experiences a population increase of 1.7 million people each year creating a demand
for food, fuel and shelter at a great cost to the forest.

3. Congo Basin forests span six countries: Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the
Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo.

4. The Congo Basin, second in size only to the mighty Amazon, loses close to 1.5 million hectares
of forest cover every year. This amounts to about one-third of the 4 million hectares of forest
destruction Africa experiences each year - an area roughly twice the size of Belgium.

5. The Democratic Republic of Congo is the largest country in the Congo Basin and contains 12.5
percent of the world's remaining tropical rainforest.

6. Seven countries hold 60 per centof the planet's forests: Brazil, Canada, China, Indonesia,
Russian Federation, United States and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

7. The forests of the Congo Basin contain the greatest number of mammals, primates, birds,
amphibians, fish and swallowtail butterflies in Africa. More than 1,000 species of bird can be
found here.

8. The Congo Basin is the only place to shelter all three subspecies of gorilla: the lowland gorilla,
the endemic eastern lowland gorilla and the endangered mountain gorilla.

9. 50 per cent of the Congo Basin forest has now been allocated for logging.

10. The Congo River that flows through the forest is the second largest river in the world.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is situated in Central Africa and it crosses the equator in the
north-central region. the third largest country in Africa, it is bordered with Central African
Republic to the north, Sudan to the northeast, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania to the east,
Zambia to the south and southeast, Angola to the southwest, and Angola and the Congo Republic
to the west.

The 2,733 mile long Congo River lies mostly within the territory of the country. The enormous
semicircular bend in the river delineates a central depression known as the cuvette, with an
average altitude of 1,300 ft. Around this densely forested section, which covers nearly half the
area of the country, a succession of plateaus rise gradually to height of over 5,000 ft in the
northeast and southeast. The highest altitudes are found along the eastern fringe of the country,
on the edge of the Great African Rift Valley, where dislocation of the strata has produced
important volcanic and mountain masses, the most notable of which is Mt. Ruwenzori, with its
peak rising to a level of 16,795 ft.

Savannah and park forest vegetation predominate north and south of the equatorial forest belt;
the southern savannah belt is far more extensive than the northern one. All major rivers are
tributaries of the Zaire; these include the Lomani, the Aruwimi or Ituri, the Itimburi, the Mongala,
the Ugangi, the Uélé, the Kasaim the Sankuru, the Lulua, the Kwango and the Kwilu. The largest
lakes include Tanganyika, Albert, Edward, Kivu, Mweru, Leopols II and Tumba.


The Democratic Republic of Congo is the largest country in the Congo Basin and contains 12.5
percent of the world’s remaining tropical rainforest.

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, Salonga and Virunga National Parks, and the Okapi Wildlife Reserve.

The forests of the Congo Basin contain the greatest number of mammals, primates, birds,
amphibians, fish and swallowtail butterflies in Africa. More than a 1,000 species of bird can be
found here.

The Congo Basin is the only place to shelter all three subspecies of gorilla: the lowland gorilla,
the endemic eastern lowland gorilla and the endangered mountain gorilla.

				
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