Langoué Forest is latitude 1 00 S, longitude 11 45 E, located right in the middle of Gabon in West Central Africa. It borders the Atlantic Ocean at the Equator between Cameroon, the Congo, and Equatorial Guinea. Gabon’s total land area is approximately 26.8 million hectares (66.2 million acres or 268 billion square meters). Gabon’s forests are estimated to cover 17 to 21 million hectares (42 to 51.9 million acres or 210 to 170 million square meters), or 60 to 80 percent of the country. Sadly, Gabon has lost between 20 and 31 percent of its original forest cover.
Complete and accurate maps of logging concessions are nonexistent. Current logging activity is focused on high grading for a few species, particularly Okoumé. Normally, this would mean that few trees are actually removed because Okoumé is a pioneer species, and commercial stocks are thought to reproduce rapidly. There is evidence suggesting that Okoumé is not as adaptive to logging as previously believed. Additionally, since logging roads make the forests accessible to commercial hunters (bush meat is a desired luxury of the area), timber extraction poses a profound threat to Gabon’s wildlife.