The Congo region has long conjured up thoughts of pygmies, mythical beasts, dreadful plagues, and cannibals. It is a land made famous by adventurers of the nineteenth century (Stanley and Livingstone) as well as its wildlife.

The Congo rainforest is the second largest contiguous block of rainforest in the world after the Amazon. Six nations -- Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon -- share the 1.5 million square mile Congo basin. Over 10,000 animal species are known to live in the area.

The Congo is one of the world's most threatened ecosystems. Commercial logging, clearing for subsistence agriculture, and widespread civil strife has devastated forests, displaced forest dwellers, and resulted in the expansion of the "bushmeat" trade.


Previous | Next


Review questions

Additional resources