Status and Trends of Biodiversity
The Central African Republic is located in the heart of the African continent and is rich in natural resources. The variation in climatic zones has led to the emergence of diverse vegetation areas: the dense, mature forests of the south; the wooded savanna in the center; and the grassland savanna in the north. The fauna of the Central African Republic is rich and diverse. Species present in the country include: elephants, giraffes, forest and savanna buffalo, bongos, gorillas, chimpanzees, crocodiles and hippopotami. The aquatic fauna is characterized by economically important species like Distichodus (Mboto), Schilbé (Makelele), Latés niloticus (Capitaine), Mormyrus (Kpeté), and Hydrocyon (Mbinga). Identified threats to biodiversity include: brush fires, clearing of forests for agriculture (2,500ha/year), diamond and gold mining; degradation of riparian forests; chemical fishing; lack of capacity for in situ and ex situ conservation; and desertification.
Number and Extent of Protected Areas
The protected areas cover 11% of the country. The network of protected areas consists of 6 categories: 1 biosphere reserve, 2 integral nature reserves, 4 national parks, 1 presidential park, 7 wildlife reserves and 2 special reserves.