Eastern chimpanzee in Chinko Nature Reserve in the Central African Republic One of Africa ‘s largest nature reserves, home to thousands of endangered animals and once plagued by heavily-armed poachers, has been expanded and placed under long-term protection. A 25-year partnership was announced today between the non-profit African Parks and the government of the Central African Republic (CAR) which covers 5.5m hectares of the Chinko basin — an area twice the size of Massachusetts. The area is a rich biodiversity hotspot of both savannah and rainforests and its two major rivers form a crucial freshwater system. It is the only refuge for African wild dogs in the region and has a large population of Eastern chimpanzees, Eastern giant elands, elephants and big cats including Northern lions. The area is also home to all four species of African pangolins , the world’s most trafficked animal. The illegal trade in pangolins had been linked to the coronavirus outbreak and although studies have shown that they are unlikely to have been involved in the transmission of Covid-19, the species are known to be natural hosts of coronaviruses. In the past, the Chinko landscape has faced threats from militarised poachers who have decimated […]

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