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Central African Republic

Little Bee-eater Merops pusillus ©Nigel Blake Website

The Central African Republic (CAR), is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It borders Chad in the north, Sudan in the east, the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the south, and Cameroon in the west.

Most of the CAR consists of Sudano-Guinean savannas but it also includes a Sahelo-Sudanese zone in the north and an equatorial forest zone in the south. Two thirds of the country lies in the basins of the Ubangi River, which flows south into the Congo River, while the remaining third lies in the basin of the Chari River, which flows north into Lake Chad.

The Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in the world and among the ten poorest countries in Africa.

In 2001 The Ecologist magazine estimated that Central African Republic is the world's leading country in sustainable development.

The Central African Republic is a land-locked nation within the interior of the African continent. It is bordered by the countries of Cameroon, Chad, the Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo. Much of the country consists of flat, or rolling plateau savanna, typically about 1,640 feet (500 m) above sea level. In the northeast are the Fertit Hills, and there are scattered hills in southwest part of the country. To the northwest is the Yade Massif, a granite plateau with an altitude of 3,750 feet (1,143 m).

At 240,519 mi² (622,984 km²), the Central African Republic is the world's 43rd-largest country (after Somalia). It is comparable in size to Ukraine, and is somewhat smaller than the US state of Texas.

Much of the southern border is formed by tributaries of the Congo River, with the Mbomou River in the east merging with the Uele River to form the Ubangi River. In the west, the Sangha River flows through part of the country. The eastern border lies along the edge of the Nile river watershed.

Estimates of the amount of the country covered by forest ranges up to 8%, with the densest parts in the south. The forest is highly diverse, and includes commercially important species of Ayous, Sapelli and Sipo. The deforestation rate is 0.4% per annum, and lumber poaching is commonplace.

The climate of the C.A.R. is generally tropical. The northern areas are subject to harmattan winds, which are hot, dry, and carry dust. The northern regions have been subject to desertification, and the northeast is desert. The remainder of the country is prone to flooding from nearby rivers.

In the November 2008 issue of National Geographic, the Central African Republic was named the country least affected by light pollution.

The wilderness regions of this country have potential as ecotourist destinations. The country is noted for its population of forest elephants. In the southwest, the Dzanga-Sangha National Park is a rain forest area. To the north, the Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park has been well-populated with wildlife, including leopards, lions, and rhinos. To the northeast the Bamingui-Bangoran National Park. However the population of wildlife in these parks has severely diminished over the past 20 years due to poaching, particularly from the neighboring Sudan.

Contributor

Wikipedia

GNU Free Documentation License

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_African_Republic

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 801

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Useful Reading

Birds of Western Africa: An Identification Guide

Nik Borrow and Ron Demey Series: CHRISTOPHER HELM IDENTIFICATION GUIDE SERIES 832 pages, 147 col plates, 1100 dist maps. Christopher Helm

ISBN: 0713639598

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Field Guide to the Birds of Western Africa

Field Guide to the Birds of Western Africa Nik Borrow and Ron Demey Series: HELM FIELD GUIDES 496 pages, 150 col plates, 1300 maps. Christopher Helm See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 0713666927

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Trip Reports

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CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2010 [09 September] - Sjef Öllers - Cameroon, Congo and Central African Republic

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…I more or less accidentally found a tour to Congo and Central African Republic offered by Steppes Travel. The tour schedule looked excellent with almost two weeks spent in the Dzanga-Sangha area and the adjoining Nouabalé-Ndoki national park. Although normally we don’t like joining group tours, the interesting tour schedule convinced us to give it a try….

Organisations

African Bird Club

Website

The Central African Republic is a developing nation that has experienced several periods of political instability since independence from France in 1960. Although it has a number of National Parks, facilities for tourism are limited. It has pristine forests and lively cities but also a lawless countryside and crumbling roads…

West African Ornithological Society

Website

The West African Ornithological Society grew out of the Nigerian Ornithologists’ Society, which was founded in February 1964. Its object is to promote scientific interest in the birds of West Africa and to further the region’s ornithology, mainly by means of its journal Malimbus (formerly the Bulletin of the Nigerian Ornithologists’ Society). This journal is biannual and bilingual, a unique feature in Africa.The West African Ornithological Society grew out of the Nigerian Ornithologists’ Society, which was founded in February 1964. Its object is to promote scientific interest in the birds of West Africa and to further the region’s ornithology, mainly by means of its journal Malimbus (formerly the Bulletin of the Nigerian Ornithologists’ Society). This journal is biannual and bilingual, a unique feature in Africa.

Reserves

Dzanga-Ndoki National Park

Website

Satellite View

Some 357 species have been reported from the National Park in the wider sense (in part the result of an incomplete survey over some two years, plus further shorter visits). Of these species, at least 260 can be expected to breed…

Manovo-Gounda-St Floris National Park

Website

Satellite View

Some 320 species of birds have been identified, with at least 25 species of raptor including bataleur Terathopius ecaudatus, and African fish eagle Cumcuma vocifer…

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