Salonga National Park has been removed from Unesco’s list of endangered sites, with the UN acknowledging the country’s preservation efforts and the tireless commitment of those working to protect the forest. The heritage site had been on the list since 1984!
The park is located in the Democratic Republic of Congo and is Africa’s biggest protected rainforest, providing a home for 51 species of mammals, 129 species of fish, and 223 species of birds; including 40% of all bonobo apes and the forest elephant!
Larger than Belgium, the Salonga is also the third largest forest National Park in the world. It is rich in biodiversity, and at 33,350 km² it is one of the few remaining natural areas large enough for the evolution process to continue relatively undisturbed by human activitiy.
All hunting inside the park, under Congolese law, is illegal and therefore considered poaching; though this is the largest threat the Salonga and it’s wildlife faces as the demand for endangered species parts and products, and the bushmeat trade, increases. As protection, the park includes 250 rangers that patrol the area.