Gray countries with texture denote areas of future engagement.
Wildlife knows no boundaries. So AWF has defined areas across the continent that are critical to conservation. These Priority Landscapes can cover public and private lands alike and often cross borders.
234,485,800 hectares (905,355 sq. mi.)
Mountain gorilla, bonobo, chimpanzee, elephant, okapi, white rhino
Tropical and subtropical grassland, savanna, shrubland, tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest
While much of the world is aware of their civil war and the continued growing tensions from the M23 rebels, what many may not be aware of is DRC’s ecological paradise. Located in Central Africa, DRC is the continent’s second-largest country. More than 71 million people live here—as do 1,000 bird species, more than 400 fish species, three of the world’s four great apes, and 10,000 species of plants. What’s more, it boasts the second-largest tropical forest in the world.
Civil war took its toll on innocent people and wildlife. As the M23 rebellion spreads unrest, not only are people and communities still struggling to rebuild their livelihoods and infrastructure, but certain species are inching closer to extinction. This includes the bonobos, with an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 left in the world.
This ongoing instability, poor infrastructure, and a failing economy have led to many residents hunting species in surrounding forests. Hunting for bushmeat threatens many of the DRC’s endemic species as locals trap animals for a cheap source of food.
Deforestation also remains an ongoing problem in the DRC. Slash-and-burn agriculture has destroyed many hectares of land while many farmers lack the necessary education to employ sustainable agricultural practices.
With your help, African Wildlife Foundation can continue working on vital programs like helping farmers sell their crops in markets and reducing deforestation in critical bonobo habitat. Donate for a cause that will help the people of DRC, their land, and wildlife conservation.
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