Liberia Wildlife and Economy
Animals and Plants
What is growing in Liberia?
Liberia’s landscape is diverse. Most of the country is covered by tropical, evergreen rainforest. The biodiversity is particularly great here. Mangroves and marsh plants grow on the coast. In the north there are some areas with wet savannah. Grasses up to six meters high grow here. Gallery forest spreads along rivers. So far, 2200 plant species have been counted in Liberia.
And which animals live here?
Liberia is a very biodiverse country. In the dense rainforests not only many animals live, but also rare ones. 193 species of mammals are native to Liberia. Leopards and forest elephants are among the inhabitants that were unfortunately hunted a lot. In Liberia, however, they are not yet extinct.
The endangered animals that still occur in Liberia include Liberian mongooses, Diana monkeys, West African colobus monkeys, Jentink duikers, zebra suckers and chimpanzees. Pygmy hippos still live in the Sapo National Park in eastern Liberia.
Forest buffalos, giant forest pigs, porcupines, cane rats and many species of squirrels, mice, pangolins and bats are not endangered.
Creeping and flying
Reptiles are also numerous in the rainforest. There are crocodiles, snakes and lizards. 576 species of birds have been counted in Liberia. These include, for example, the green-headed, maiden dove, the white-breasted guinea fowl and the Buntkopf rockhopper.
There are also aquatic animals
In the Atlantic off Liberia, whales and dolphins, water turtles and the African manatee frolic. For more articles on Liberia and Africa, please visit militarynous.
A poor country
Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world. It ranks 176 in the Human Development Index of 2018 (out of 189 countries). After the Second World War, Liberia was considered one of the most progressive states in Africa. But the long civil war between 1989 and 2003 destroyed a large part of the infrastructure. Economic performance also fell. The country is still suffering from this today.
2014 there was a setback when the re Ebola – epidemic broke out in West Africa. Liberia, along with Guinea and Sierra Leone, was one of the hardest hit countries.
Agriculture for self-sufficiency
Agriculture generates 34 percent of the country’s total economic output. However, 70 percent of the population work in this area. Agriculture is mainly practiced for self-sufficiency (subsistence farming).
Often slash and burn is practiced, i.e. a piece of forest is burned down in order to grow crops there. A lot of the rainforest has already disappeared as a result. Because the soil is depleted again after a few years, i.e. no longer has any nutrients, a piece of forest has to be cleared again.
Manioc, rice, yams and sweet potatoes are mainly grown for personal consumption, and bananas and oranges are used for fruit. Sugar cane, cotton, coffee, cocoa, pineapple and products from the oil palm, especially palm oil, are destined for export.
Fishing on the coast
Fishing also plays an important role on the coast. The main catch is a type of herring called Ethmalosa fimbriata. But also cross catfish and shrimp end up in the nets of fishermen.
Ships and rubber from Liberia – the industry
13.8 percent of economic income comes from industry. The mining of iron ore has long played an important role. It was mainly mined in the Nimba region and brought the highest revenues from exports. But because the quality was no longer good and the prices fell, the production was stopped.
Today ships bring the most money into Liberia’s coffers: Because ships can be registered easily and cheaply in Liberia – with low taxes and duties – many ships worldwide sail under the Liberian flag.
Rubber is also important for export. There are large rubber tree plantations that were created in the 1920s. Tropical wood is also exported. There are industries that process rubber and palm oil products. Concrete parts are also manufactured. This still plays a role in the reconstruction of the country after the long civil war.
Petroleum and gold
Oil is being drilled off the coast. A major gold mining project started in 2017. It is hoped that the gold produced will help the economy grow.
And finally: the services
The remaining 52.2 percent and thus the largest share are generated with services. This includes traffic and transport, energy and telecommunications, i.e. radio, telephone and internet.