card
139

Dzanga-Sangha
rain forest

OLogy Series
place
card
139

Dzanga-Sangha
rain forest

OLogy Series
place

The Dzanga-Sangha rain forest is alive with the sounds of snakes, chimpanzees, birds, insects, and many exotic creatures. Humans also live in the Dzanga-Sangha. Located in Central Africa near the Equator, the weather here is always warm and rainy. Half of all the elephants in Africa live in this rain forest. In fact, the name "Dzanga" means "village of elephants."

A Rain Forest in New York City?
Where can you find a piece of the rain forest in the middle of New York City? At the American Museum of Natural History, that's where! Twenty Museum workers -- artists, scientists, video makers, photographers -- were specially selected to travel thousands of miles across oceans and deserts, to visit the Dzanga-Sangha rain forest in the Central African Republic. Their goal was to study the ecosystem and to bring back a little part of the Dzanga-Sangha rain forest. Because there are no phones or mail delivery in the rain forest, everyone had to be prepared to say goodbye to their families for six whole weeks! But it was worth it. By the end of the expedition, the team collected almost 10,000 pounds of specimens -- everything from tree vines to leaf litter! The specimens were shipped all the way back to the United States, where they were used to help recreate a section of the Dzanga-Sangha rain forest.

The longest earthworm ever found in this forest was:

about 2 inches

about 1 foot

more than 3 feet

Are you right?

Correct!

Rain forest earthworms can grow more than 3 feet long! Earthworms are important residents of the rain forest because they help recycle nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, all of which are ingredients that help plants grow.

The Dzanga-Sangha is a special place. You never know what surprises await you -- meeting rare gorillas, elephants, butterflies, or birds.

Only a few species of plants and animals can survive the harsh conditions of the rain forest.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fiction

The world's tropical rain forests are actually home to about half (50 percent) of all known plant and animal species.

Most of the plant and animal species that live in the Dzanga-Sangha have yet to be discovered by scientists.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

Although scientists have identified thousands of plants and animals that live here, there are probably millions more yet to be discovered.

Dzanga-Sangha rain forest
(ZDONG-guh SONG-guh)
Size: 1.73 square miles (about 1,107 acres)
Location: northern edge of the Congo Basin in the Central African Republic
Characteristics: home to chimps, gorillas, antelopes, elephants, thousands of bird species, millions of insect species, and many other animal species found nowhere else in the world
Significance: threatened by hunting and mining

Image credits: Laura Friedman; Joel Cracraft: Courtesy of Joel Cracraft.