|Contributor||Christophe NDARATA MASSANGUET|
The variability of ecosystems allows the Central African Republic to have a fairly rich biodiversity. Unfortunately, the absence of exhaustive studies on its evolution does not allow either to precisely give its qualitative importance, or to evaluate the evolution of its stock.
In terms of flora, ligneous and herbaceous resources represented in forests, savannahs and steppes alike, there are currently 3,602 species of vascular plants out of a potential of around 5,000 which are supposed to exist on the national territory. In addition, approximately 208 species of mammals including 2 endemic species and 2 species threatened with extinction (elephant), 668 species of birds including two threatened species and 400 are found in the forest zone. About 25 families of reptiles have been identified.
As for the country's fishery resources, about 23 kinds of fish have been identified. The Chari and Logone basins are home to about 195 species of fish and the Oubangui basin has 206. The main commercial species are Alestes sp., Clarias sp., Hydrocynus sp., Lates sp., Heterotis sp. , to which is added Tilapia nilotica which is an introduced species.
More than 11% of the national territory, i.e. 68,817 km2, is currently covered by so-called traditional protected areas. Added to this, the multiple-use reserves including leased or conceded sectors and village hunting areas, this coverage rate is increased to 38%. The classification of these protected areas was made according to the different representative ecosystems in the CAR.
Among the protected areas, three are classified as World Heritage sites. These are the Basse Lobaye Biosphere Reserve, the Manovo Gounda Saint Floris National Park and the Dzanga Ndoki National Park complex and the Dzanga Sangha Special Reserve.
The hunting areas in the northeast have the particularity of being richer in fauna. They have been exploited by hunting tourism sincemany long years. Thus, according to a survey conducted in August 1998 on the Manovo-Gounda Saint Floris National Park, it was noted, among others, the populations of the following main species of fauna: wild dogs, leopards, lions, cheetahs, elephants, hippos, giraffes , defasca waterbucks, buffon waterbucks, reduncas, derby elands, damalisque, hartebeest, etc. While in the forest zone we meet the bongo, the forest elephant, the forest buffalo, the leopard, the chimpanzee, the gorilla of the western plains.
The variability of aquatic ecosystems makes the CAR the reservoir of a rich and diversified fauna, even a corridor for wildlife between the ecosystems of West and East Africa. A multitude of animals live in water or at the water's edge in relation to aquatic and semi-aquatic plants which offer a large plant biomass that can serve as food for them. The following major classes of the animal kingdom are represented: Protozoa, Annelids, Molluscs, Crustaceans and vertebrates such as Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds and
The extreme northeast is part of the area of hunting interest. There are five protected areas including 3 wildlife reserves and 2 national parks covering an area of 31,400 km² or 54% of the total area of the steppe ecosystem. While six protected areas have been created in the savannah, including an integral reserve, covering a total area of 29,560 km² or 6.25% of the savannah territory. In the forest massif of the South-West there are 4 protected areas which cover an area of 1,204,177 ha or 31.8% of the total area of the forest massif (Beina, 2001). The total area of protected areas in the CAR is 68,817 km2.
The directory of protected areas (PA) of the CAR together with their statutes is provided in Table I:
|year of creation||Management Program|
|Parc National||Bamingui Bangoran||10700||1933||ECOFAC|
Manovo Gounda Saint Floris
Vassako-Bolo dans le parc national Bamingui -
|Réserve de biosphère||Basse Lobaye||146||1951||OCDN|
|Réserve de faune||Zemongo||10100||1925||Aucun|
Réserves à vocation multiple
|6334,54||Jusqu’en 2007 avec 15
Sociétés de chasse
Zones Cynégétiques Villageoises
Overall, 45.89% of protected areas in the Central African Republic are represented by national parks, 44.21% by wildlife reserves, 2.48% presidential park, 5.94% special reserve, 1, 25% integral reserve and 0.2% by biosphere reserve. To date, 46 classified forests covering an area of 635,062 ha require a management program.