This video is called Carving Up the Congo:
International logging companies are causing social chaos and wreaking environmental havoc in the Democratic Republic of Congo, home of the world’s second largest rainforest.
Our film reveals how the World Bank, by far the largest donor to the DRC, is failing to stop this destruction whilst the rainforest is being sold off under the illusion that it will alleviate poverty in one of the poorest countries on Earth.
How the World Bank and HSBC are investing in deforestation in Congo: here.
Lost Forest in Africa Yields New Species
By Charles Q. Choi, Special to LiveScience
posted: 07 August 2007 03:32 pm ET
In a once-lost forest in Africa, six animal species new to science have been discovered, members of a two-month expedition now reveal, including a bat, a rodent, two shrews and two frogs.
“If we can find six new species in such a short period, it makes you wonder what else is out there,” said Wildlife Conservation Society researcher Andrew Plumptre.
The bat appears to be a kind of horseshoe bat (genus Rhinolophus), known for the large horseshoe-shaped “nose leaves” used for directing their ultrasound.
These new species were discovered in an expedition from January and March 2007 into woods just west of Lake Tanganyika, which have been off limits to scientists for more than 50 years. The area is a remote corner of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, which has been gripped by unrest and war for decades.
Spirits linked with this area include Kabogo, said to occasionally manifest itself as a ghostly boat on Lake Tanganyika at night said to guarantee good fishing if seen, as well as Misotshi, who has taboos against the killing of chimpanzees and the destruction of the forest. For this reason, local chiefs suggested naming the area the Misotshi-Kabogo Forest, the researchers said.
The scientists found that nearly 386 square miles (1,000 square kilometers) of forest, almost the size of all of Hong Kong, remained intact. The woods stretched from the shores of Lake Tanganyika up to elevations of 8,940 feet (2,725 meters) above sea level, or roughly seven times the height of the Empire State Building.
These woods have been isolated from much of the Congo rainforest, the second largest rainforest in the world, for at least 10,000 years, which explains why they held new species, said Wildlife Conservation Society researcher Deo Kujirakwinja. They proved extraordinarily rich, providing a home to chimpanzees, elephants, leopards, monkeys, birds, reptiles, frogs and other amphibians, hogs, jackals, mongooses, porcupines, and antelopes known as bongos.
The expedition collected additional material that may also yield a number of new plant species. Local botanists were unable to identify some 10 percent of the collected plants. Plumptre, Kujirakwinja and their colleagues will send these samples to specialists in the near future to assess their novelty.
The Wildlife Conservation Society notes that chiefs and elders at local villages are supportive of transforming the region into a protected park. Currently, human impacts on these forests are relatively low, with gold mining on a minor level being the most substantial threat.
See also here.
World’s largest protected freshwater Ramsar site declared in the Democratic Republic of Congo: here.
A New Population of De Brazza’s Monkey found in Kenya: here.
July 2013. Scientists from the Universities of Stirling, Oxford, Queensland and the Wildlife Conservation Society warn that current hunting trends in Central African forests could result in complete ecological collapse: here.
- Professor Shares Research from Fulbright Experience (ruprofstudies.wordpress.com)
- Study finds the forgotten ape threatened by human activity and forest loss (eurekalert.org)
- Congolese Forest Giraffe Added to List of Endangered Animals (inhabitat.com)
- Pre-harvest forestry and botanical inventories in ENRA logging concession in the Ituri Forest Landscape, northeastern Congo Basin Rainforest (Democratic Republic of Congo) (hbikumbu.wordpress.com)
- Red List reveals conservation successes, but extinctions continue apace (theguardian.com)
- African Countries Join Forces to Tackle Deforestation in Congo Basin (acenewsservices.com)
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