The second largest rain forest is located in central Africa. Most of Africa's rain forests are located along the Congo River basin. There is also rain forest area on the African island nation of Madagascar. The rain forest is home to half of Africa's animal population, but over 90 percent of the rain forests have been destroyed by deforestation, slash and burn farming and construction of roads.
Gorillas are among the most imposing of Africa's primate population. Among them are the mountain gorillas which live in rain forests of Cameroon, Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Other primates of the African rain forest include the black colobus monkey, which is known for jumping abilities and lack of thumbs. Lemurs are native to Madagascar and live in groups that parent in a communal style. Chimpanzees are also native to rain forests in Africa.
One of the smallest mammals of the African rain forest is the Gabon dwarf shrew. It weighs only 0.05 oz. and is endangered. African forest elephants, on the other end of the scale, weigh in at 7,000 to 9,000 lbs. and play an important role in the rain forest by trampling trails for other animals to use. A lesser known variety of hippopotamus is the pygmy hippo of West Africa. These hippos live more solitary lives than other hippos and spend more time out of water.
The African grey parrot is one of the most talkative bird species and is found in a wide area of Africa from Kenya to Northern Angola, Tanzania and Republic of Congo. No longer legal to trade, the African grey parrot was once a popular pet. The malachite kingfisher is a colorful bird common to the tropical areas of Africa. It feeds on small fish.
The African slender-snouted crocodile is found in west and central Africa and is considered an endangered species. Day geckos live in Madagascar and feed on insects as well as nectar. They are popular pets. The tomato frog also lives in Madagascar and is, as its name implies, bright red. Like many bright-colored amphibians, it is toxic to predators. It exudes a glu-like substance from its skin. The Gunther's spiny lizard lives in the rain forests of west Africa; its flat body allows it to glide from tree to tree.