One of the world’s newest countries is also one of the most conflict-ridden.
But, in a rare bit of good news about South Sudan, which separated from Sudan in 2011, it is also one of the most biodiverse regions in the world.
The news is four decades in the making, dating back to in 1979, before the advent of the civil war that killed millions.
At the time, conservationists were already working to protect a large part of the territory that lies at the crossroads of Africa, in biological terms.
All this was truncated by conflict.
Now, an international consortium of researchers and conservationists are working with local communities to monitor and protect wildlife, which has meant that cooperation “between communities and government officials has created a pocket of stability and security,” according to the advocacy group Flora & Fauna International.
And the results have been astounding.
Camera “traps” triggered by passing wildlife are revealing how the region’s dense tropical forests harbor chimpanzees, rare wild cats, elephants, hyena, pangolin, and many other species that elsewhere in Africa are dwindling rapidly.