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Congo jungle: characteristics, flora and fauna

The Congo Jungle is the second largest forested area on the planet after the Amazon. It is dominated by the forest in its purest state, and has emblematic species such as mountain gorillas, African elephants or pygmy chimpanzees.

If you want to know what animals are in the Congo Jungle, know its vegetation and much more, continue reading this interesting AgroCorrn article in which the characteristics of the Congo Jungle, its flora and fauna will be explained .

You may also be interested in: High jungle: characteristics, flora and fauna

Characteristics of the Congo Jungle

These are the main characteristics of the Congo Jungle :

  • The Congo Forest with 180 million hectares extends throughout the Central African region, it includes the countries of the Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the south of the Central African Republic and the southeast of Cameroon.
  • The climate of the Congo Jungle is tropical that is why when we talk about it it is classified as a tropical jungle . It is a humid climate, with an average maximum temperature of 30 ºC and a minimum of 21 ºC. Its annual rainfall is very abundant with an average of 1800 mm.
  • Due to the large amount of rain that falls in the area, the soil is characterized by being muddy.
  • The conservation status of the Congo Jungle is vulnerable due to construction, poaching and deforestation. That is why, according to the Global 200 list published by WWF, it appears as a priority conservation ecoregion.
  • This jungle is of great importance since it provides a large amount of goods and services, it has great value for the world economy, since it acts as a great store of food, wood or mineral, in addition to contributing to the regulation of the climate.
  • There are small populations inhabiting the Forest of the Congo, being located mainly in the main rivers. One of the native populations of this African jungle is the Pygmies.
  • It has a very rich and diverse flora, its fauna is also very abundant and varied, presenting important populations that are cataloged in danger of extinction.

Flora of the Congo Jungle

Among the plants of the Congo Jungle you can find the following:

Coconut palm or Cocos nucifera

This species of palm belongs to the Aracaceae family and can be found inhabiting the shores of tropical beaches. They are plants that can measure up to 5 meters long, and contain the coconut as a fruit.

Banana or usa paradisiaca

From the Musaceae family, they can grow in poor soils but fertile and humid soils are ideal for the development of this species. We are not really facing a tree, we are facing a megaforbia, which is nothing more than a large perennial herb. The banana has large leaves and a false trunk, while the fruit is a false epigine berry with about 5 cm in diameter and can reach up to 30 cm long.

Oil palm or Elaeis guineensis

A species of the Arecaceae family, it is distributed throughout central and eastern Africa, the Gulf of Guinea and the Rainforests of Guinea. This palm tree can reach up to 40 m in height and has fleshy fruits, which are gathered in clusters that weigh between 3-15 kg.

Hardwood trees are also characteristic of the Congo Forest, including a great variety of species such as mahogany, cedar or teak . In addition, in flooded areas , raffia palms dominate and in areas that are only seasonally flooded, the genera Manilkara and Garcinia predominate .

Fauna of the Congo Jungle

Among the great variety that we find among the animals of the Congo Jungle are:

Jungle elephant or Loxodonta cyclotis

This animal is from the Elephantidae family and is a small species of elephant , since it does not exceed 2.5 m in height and has 5 nails on its front legs and 4 on the back ones. Its pinkish ivory tusks make this animal The animal is threatened by poaching, and is currently in a vulnerable state according to the red list.

Okapi or Okapia johnstoni

It is a mammal of the Giraffidae family, a relative of the giraffe, in fact they have some physical similarities, although the skin of the okapis is reddish in color, their legs are small and white with black stripes and they have a short neck. These animals are heavily threatened, as their natural habitat is being destroyed, in addition to being hunted by poachers. They are elusive animals, so the study of them is not easy and is mainly based on the collection of their droppings and other signs that show their presence. Learn more about them in this other AgroCorrn article about the Characteristics of the okapi, an endangered animal .

In the Congo Jungle there are also important populations of coastal and mountain gorillas , which are in danger of extinction. There is also a great variety of reptiles with species such as crocodiles, mambas and pythons . In addition, insects such as mosquitoes, termites or ants abound .

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