Garamba is large area of mainly densely wooded savanna, with gallery forest and papyrus marshes, situated in north-eastern DR Congo, on the border with Sudan. The landscape is undulating and the park lies on the watershed between the Nile and the Congo rivers and is drained by many rivers, of which the Dungu, the Aka and the Garamba are the most important. The park has the only centre in the world for the domestication of the African Elephant Loxodonta africana, which started in 1901. Mean annual rainfall is around 1,500 mm with the rainy season extending from April to November.
See Box and Table 3 for key species. There has been no systematic survey of Garamba. Gallinago media has been recorded. The park contains the only protected area in the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome in the country. In addition, five species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome and one of the Lake Victoria Basin biome have been recorded (see Table 3).
Non-bird biodiversity: The park holds some 130 species of mammal, amongst which is the last surviving population of Ceratotherium simum cottoni (CR). Other species of interest include Loxodonta africana (EN) (unique in that it represents an intermediary form in the cline between the forest and savanna subspecies) and Pan troglodytes (EN).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Garamba was established in 1938 to protect the populations of Ceratotherium simum cottoni and Giraffa camelopardalis and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1980. The rhino population has been brought to the brink of extinction by poaching, although heavy investment in anti-poaching operations has paid off and rhino numbers were slightly rising again (from c.3,000 in 1963 to 15 in 1984 and 31 in 1992) before the region was destabilized by war. The park has benefited from international cooperation and various sources of outside funding to assist in its rehabilitation, improvement of infrastructures and management, and anti-poaching operations. Some tourist facilities are available but the development of tourism is hampered by the difficulties of access.
BirdLife International (2017) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Garamba National Park. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 17/10/2017.