Bokassa Grass, also known as Camfhur grass, is an extremely problematic invasive weed in the Congo Rainforest. This plant was first introduced to West Africa accidentally introduced with forestry seeds. This weed affects species diversity in the Congo Rainforest and prevents the regeneration of tree species as well.
Mountain Gorillas are found in The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda, and there are only about 800 individuals remaining today. Several reasons include habitat loss and fragmentation (H in HIPPCO), war and unrest (population in HIPPCO), and poaching (over harvesting in HIPPCO).
Also known as the Zebra Giraffe, Okapis are K-selected mammals that live in the northeastern portion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Their extremely hardy stomach allows them to digest very hard-to-eat foods such as Vermilion mushrooms. Okapis have small hooves to enable them to climb up high altitudes in order to reach a desired food source. Their long tongues and necks allow them to reach higher branches in trees to collect food more easily since they are herbivores and only eat plants.
The African Leopard is the main predator of many species all over sub-Saharan Africa. It's developed scapula allows for the attachment of very strong and powerful muscles to chase down and pounce on prey. The varied diets of these carnivores allow them to adjust to changes in prey availability, as well as live in different environments and biomes (rainforests and grasslands).
The Gaboon Viper is a very beautiful and venomous snake found in the rainforests and savannas of sub-Saharan Africa. The fangs of this viper are the longest of any snake on earth, and thus they can produce an extremely large quantity of venom when they bite. Their brown and white scales allow them to blend in quite nicely with the forest floor, and their triangular-shaped head resembles a leaf.
The Moabi Tree is a large hardwood tree that grows above the Congo Rainforest canopy. This tree is commonly used for lumber and medicine, and is a slightly threatened species. The medicinal resource being sought after is their nut oil that is used by the pygmy people of the Congo. Their tall height and wide top gives them priority to the sunlight above the forest canopy.
Coral Tree (erythrina spp)
The Coral Tree (Efythrina SPP) is a flowering tree that is found in the Congo Rainforest in Central & Western Africa. The flowers of the Coral Tree are horizontal so that sunbirds can perch on the branches and feed on the nectar so that it can be dispersed. In the Amazon, however, flowers on trees are vertical for hovering hummingbirds to come and feed on the nectar. This horizontal leaf adaptation is very important for flowering trees in the Congo due to the absence of hummingbirds.
The Banana tree is found in tropics all over the world, including the Congo rainforest. Banana have a unique adaptation of changing colors in order to stay warm when needed. Their large leaves help absorb lots of sunlight, as it is a very important resource for all trees. Their tasty fruits help disperse their seeds throughout the rainforest.