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Republic Of Congo

Baglafecht Weaver Ploceus baglafecht ©Jens Eriksen Website

The Republic of the Congo also known as the Congo Republic, or Congo-Brazzaville, is a country located in Central Africa. It is located in the central-western part of sub-Saharan Africa, along the Equator, lying between latitudes 4°N and 5°S, and longitudes 11° and 19°E. To the south and east of it is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is also bounded by Gabon to the west, Cameroon and the Central African Republic to the north, and Cabinda (Angola) to the southwest. It has a short coast on the Atlantic Ocean.

The region was dominated by Bantu-speaking tribes, who built trade links leading into the Congo River basin. Congo-Brazzaville was formerly part of the French colony of Equatorial Africa. Upon independence in 1960, the former colony of French Congo became the Republic of the Congo. The People's Republic of the Congo was a Marxist–Leninist one-party state from 1970 to 1991. Multi-party elections have been held since 1992, although a democratically elected government was ousted in the 1997 Republic of the Congo Civil War and President Denis Sassou Nguesso has ruled for 26 of the past 36 years.

The political stability and development of hydrocarbon production made Republic of the Congo the fourth largest oil producer in the Gulf of Guinea and provided the country with a relative prosperity despite the poor state of its infrastructure and public services and an unequal distribution of oil revenues.

The capital, Brazzaville, is located on the Congo River, in the south of the country, immediately across from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The southwest of the country is a coastal plain for which the primary drainage is the Kouilou-Niari River; the interior of the country consists of a central plateau between two basins to the south and north. Forests are under increasing exploitation pressure.

Since the country is located on the Equator, the climate is consistent year-round, with the average day temperature a humid 24 °C (75 °F) and nights generally between 16 °C (61 °F) and 21 °C (70 °F). The average yearly rainfall ranges from 1,100 millimetres (43 in) in the Niari Valley in the south to over 2,000 millimetres (79 in) in central parts of the country. The dry season is from June to August, while in the majority of the country the wet season has two rainfall maxima: one in March-May and another in September-November.

In 2006-2007, researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society studied gorillas in heavily forested regions centred on the Ouesso district of the Sangha Region. They suggest a population on the order of 125,000 Western Lowland Gorillas, whose isolation from humans has been largely preserved by inhospitable swamps.

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 719

Checklist

Checklist

WebBirder Checklist

Fatbirder's very own checklists are now available through WebBirder

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

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

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.

Organisations

African Bird Club

Website

The Republic of the Congo has a bird list of over 600 species. Few birdwatchers, however, have visited the country and many parts are under-recorded. The political situation and safety concerns are such that this is likely to remain the case for some time. With such a wonderful range of habitats and a plethora of interesting species, one can only hope that opportunities to visit will increase in the near future.

WCS-Congo

Website

The tropical lowland forest of central africa is the second largest forest in the world, and home to an extraordinary range of biological diversity…

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

Important Bird Areas

Information

The avifauna of the Congo is still incompletely documented and large parts of the country including the Chaillu massif and the Likouala swamp-forests remain unexplored. Wetlands are mainly in the form of seasonally flooded forests which are not attractive to migratory waterbirds, while coastal and inland mudflats are very small. In general, the position of the country on the southern edge of the Guinea-Congo forest block means that it is of little importance as a refuge for migratory species…

Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park

Information

Satellite View

Situated in the north of the Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville); the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park was created in 1993 to conserve, in its natural state, one of the last examples of an untouched wilderness in the world. The Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park is one of the largest parks in the forested regions of central-west Africa, and contains almost 2% of all Congo's forests…

Other Links

Tropical Forests of Central Africa

Website

Conservation status etc…