Description of Monts Doudou, Gabon, and the 2000 biological inventory of the reserve

Type Working Paper
Title Description of Monts Doudou, Gabon, and the 2000 biological inventory of the reserve
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2004
Page numbers 3-15
This study highlights the urgent need to map biodiversity. Given the current levels of
world habitat loss and continued high rates of deforestation, a biodiversity map is essential
for effective conservation practices. In basic sciences, this map is needed to understand the
complex historical factors that have shaped the origin and evolution of life. Now is the time
to document and analyze biodiversity before the chance is forever lost.
This volume presents the results of a biological inventory conducted in Monts Doudou
(Doudou Mountains) located in southwestern Gabon in the Gamba Complex of protected
areas (Fig. 1). Seven scientists participated in the field inventory, which took place in 2000.
This chapter briefly describes the Monts Doudou region, the organization of our 2000 field
season in the region, geology, climate, and weather conditions during the expedition.
The Gamba Complex (1°50–3°10S; 9°15–10°50E) is the largest protected area in
Gabon covering 11,320 km2 bordering the Atlantic Ocean and extending up to 100 km inland.
This region is one of the Congo Basin’s most diverse in terms of habitats. Starting
with the coast, they include beach and dunes, littoral forest, mangrove forest, coastal scrub
forest, freshwater swamp, lowland seasonally flooded forest, upland non-flooded forest,
open grassland and extensive lagoons and lakes adjacent to the ocean. Further inland—the
location of the present study—are extensive tracts of upland forest dissected by lowland,
seasonally flooded forest along rivers and streams. World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
identified three global ecoregions in the Complex: Atlantic Equatorial Forest,
Guineo-Congolian Coast Mangroves, and the Western Congolian Forest-Savanna Mosaic
(Olson and Dinerstein 1998).
The Complex is currently divided into multiple zones with varying degrees of protection:

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