Salonga National Park World Heritage Site
Parc national de la Salonga, Congo, The Democratic Republic Of The
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Salonga National Park is a national park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo located in the Congo River basin. It is Africa's largest tropical rainforest reserve covering about 36,000 km². It extends into the provinces of Bandundu, Equateur, Kasaï Occidental and Kasaï Oriental. Animals in the park include bonobos, Salonga monkeys, Tshuapa red colobus, Congo Peafowl, leopards, forest elephants, and African slender-snouted crocodiles. Some of its species are endemic to DRC, and all are of high conservation concern. The park was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. Due to the civil war in the eastern half of the country, it was added to the list of World Heritage in Danger in 1999.
Most of the park is accessible only via river. The southern region inhabited by the Iyaelima people is accessible via the Lokoro, which flows through the center, the Lokolo in the northern part and Lula in the south. This region has been the location for studies of Bonobos in the wild. There are much higher populations of bonobos near the Iyaelima settlements than elsewhere in the park, apparently because the Iyaelima are playing a strong role in conservation.
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