The Lomami National Park (LNP) covers an area of almost 9,000 km² and is the heart of the 40,000 km² natural landscape between the rivers Tshuapa, Lomami, and Lualaba (TL2). The region is almost completely covered by dense tropical rainforest, which is home to, amongst other species, bonobos, forest elephants, giant pangolins, and hippos. Numerous endemic or rare species have been found in LNP, including Lesula monkeys, Dryas monkeys, Congo peacocks,s and Okapi.

Quick Facts
  • Project: Lomami Conservation Project
  • Area Size: 8,874 km²
  • National Park buffer zone: 35,000 km²
  • Program Manager: Dr. Terese Hart
  • Project start: 2019
The dense rainforest and remoteness of Lomami make it difficult to navigate, especially since internet is nonexistent. That makes up-to-date maps an essential tool for the team. ©Christof Schenck
The dense rainforest shows its glory here in this aerial photo of an area between the Lomami and Tschuapa watersheds. © Terese Hart
According to the IUCN, the Bonobo is an endangered species. Located only in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, their conservation is critical. © Terese Hart
A common method of transportation in this part of the world is by using dugout canoes, made from hollowed-out trees. © Terese Hart
The Lomami river is over 300 meters wide is some sections and flows through most of the National Park. © Terese Hart
The TL2 Project of the Frankfurt Zoological Society is made up of a group of Congolese and international conservationists who conduct exploratory and mapping work, ecosystem monitoring, community work, and research in and around Lomami National Park. © Christof Schenck
The TL2 project works with local communities to develop alternative, sustainable income opportunities and involve them in the development of the Park. © Christof Schenck
Lomami National Park contains 8,874 km² of uninhabited forest with islands of savanna in the south, hills in the west, and the great Lomami River that flows toward a northern junction with the Congo River. © Koko Bisimwa
Wetlands in Lomami are home to stunning creatures, such as this colorful butterfly. © Koko Bisimwa
Forest elephants, a critically endangered species, once roamed all over Lomami National Park, but poaching has decreased their population significantly. This photo was taken using a camera trap. © Terese Hart
A bushbuck antelope hiding in the grasses. Although this species has a stable population, it’s numbers are decreasing. Habitats provided by protected areas such as Lomami are havens. © Terese Hart
A young bonobo photographed by TL2 director Terese Hart. Lomami National Park has more of Congo’s iconic species than any of the country’s other protected areas including this one. © Terese Hart

How we support Lomami National Park

Exploration & mapping

Since 2007, Terese Hart and her team have been exploring and documenting the region in and around Lomami National Park. So far, more than 5,500 km have been covered on foot and by boat. The data is used to improve Park protection and to gain a better understanding of how various animal populations are distributed.

Ecosystem monitoring

Regular patrols take place in the park, conducted jointly by TL2 project staff (named after the rivers in the project area, Tshuapa, Lomami, and Lualaba) and Congolese Nature Conservation Institute (ICCN) rangers. The patrols are conducted to improve Park protection and to collect data. Data is collected on species diversity and distribution, as well as on the occurrence of illegal activities (such as poaching).

Community work

Strengthening the communities in the area is a central component of our conservation work. Together with the local people, we develop alternative, sustainable income opportunities and help involve the communities in the development of the Park. At the same time, we support individual communities in registering their Community Conservation Concessions.

Research

Particularly exciting was the discovery and publication in 2012, of a new species of monkey, Cercopithecus lomamiensis, in the Park on the left bank of the Lomami River. We are now documenting a second unknown species of monkey, also in the Park along the Lomami River. A third unique and recurring primate phenotype has also been found in the park’s northwestern forest.

This amazing mammal diversity seems to be repeated in both floristic and small mammal richness (one new species of plant has been published (Xenostegia lomamiensis) and unusual bats are currently being studied). We expect the TL2 region to continue to reveal unexpected and important biological clues to the poorly understood paleo-environmental history of Congo’s central basin.

Milestones

In January, FZS and the Congolese Nature Conservation Institute (ICCN) sign a co-management agreement that made FZS Lomami Project Leader the director of Lomami National Park

2021

In April, the Lomami National Park officially becomes an FZS project

2019

In July, the two provincial parks are united to create DR Congo’s eighth national park, Lomami National Park

2016

In August, the governor of Thsopo declares a provincial park in the area where the TL2 (Tshuapa, Lomami, and Lualaba) teams had discovered a new species of monkey and an important population of forest elephant

2013

In November, the governor of Maniema announces a provincial park in the area where the TL2 project discovered new populations of bonobo

2010

Based on TL2 team discoveries, and during a large popular assembly in Maniema province in April, the TL2 project and the Congolese Parks Authority (ICCN) launch a campaign together with local government as well as traditional leaders. They work at the village level to teach the importance of protection of Lomami Forests

2009

The first TL2 teams set out to explore the forests of the unknown, middle Lomami River

2007

Partners

Successful conservation is always the result of great teamwork. We collaborate with local communities, national authorities, and conservation organizations. Our partners make our conservation work possible.

  • ICCN (L’Institut Congolais pour la coservation de la Nature)
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • The Wildcat Foundation
  • Elephant Crisis Fund
  • Full Circle Foundation
  • Woodtiger Fund
  • Rainforest Fund
  • Arcus Foundation
Our partners

“Lomami has more endemic species than any other protected area in the country.”

Dr. Terese Hart, Project Leader Lomami Conservation Project

Contact

Zoologische Gesellschaft Frankfurt von 1858 e.V.
Bernhard-Grzimek-Allee 1
60316 Frankfurt

Telephone: +49 (0)69 - 94 34 46 0
Fax: +49 (0)69 - 43 93 48
E-Mail

You will find our office in the Zoogesellschaftshaus (4th floor).
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