In about a decade now, the Democratic Republic of Congo has lost most of its forest cover, amounting to an area of about 31,000 square miles. As described by the Global Forest Watch, Congo has lost a forest area which is equivalent to the size of the country, Austria. Surprising, as it might seem, this act against nature occurred within just a period of one and half decade. Now you can imagine the rate of wildlife loss that would result from such tremendous habitat loss and fragmentation. Edge species and native organisms are forced to seek refuge in any vegetation regardless of their perfect adaptability of ecological functioning. One of the areas in Democratic Republic of Congo which attracted and can be identified as a refuge for the organisms who once resided in the lost 31,000 square mile forest cover is the Tshuapa, Lomami, and Lualaba forest area.
On July 7th, this year, it was made possible for the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo to launch a new national park – which is its first new national park in about 40 years. The national park, named as Lomami National Park, covers about 2.2 million acres and is a perfect region to set aside for wildlife protection and nature conservancy. Already, most endemic species have sought refuge in the forest and a long-term research has been conducted to prove the ability of the forest cover to host wildlife within the region.
The research within the area is reported to have started back in 2007, and was named after the Tshuapa, Lomami, and Lualaba forest area – TL2. At the time of commencing the research the TL2 was an untouched and unknown forest cover free from human interference and not known to researchers. Through the TL2 survey and research, lots of amazing species were seen and identified within the forest – most of them being primates. An amazing outcome was the discovery of a new monkey, which has been called the Lesula and scientifically named Cercopithecus lomamiensis (deriving the species name from the location it was discovered – Lomami).
John Hart, a member of the TL2 research, disclosed some description of the discovered monkey in a New York Times report. According to the researcher, the Lesula is uniquely colourful and very beautiful. It belongs to the geneoun family and poses a strange human face with a brilliant blue color. The adult male Lesula is identified with a huge bare patch of skin in the buttocks, testicles and perianal area, John Hart disclosed.
After 9 years of surveying and research, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo announced launch of the Lamomi National Park. Significantly, this will boost the ecological performance of the country and also promote the species diversity and abundance of some of the species which have previously lost their number due to deforestation and illegal wildlife trade. DRC, is one of the countries which has significantly lost its primary forest rapidly among other countries in Africa. In 2014, the country lost more tree cover than any other year in their history. This has all contributed to the establishment of the new national park.