The Tchikapika-Owando is a biodiversity-rich wetland which supports fish, reptiles, birds, mammals, and invertebrate species and plays an important role in the hydrological regulation of the Congo river basin. The Site is known to support a multitude of species of fauna and flora, with its grassy savannah, rainforest and rural complexes particularly characteristic of the Guinean-Congolese/Zambezian biogeographic region. Notable species include the leopard (Panthera pardus), water chevrotain (Hyemoschus aquaticus), forest elephant (Loxodonta africana), hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), African civet (Civettictis civetta), side-striped jackal (Canis adustus), the critically endangered western gorilla (Gorilla gorilla), crocodiles, tortoises and reptiles. The aquatic vegetation and marshy forests offer ideal feeding and breeding ground for waterbirds such as the African darter, egret, woolly-necked stork and the tawny eagle. The local human population depends on the resources of the Site for its livelihoods, such as traditional fishing, hunting, subsistence farming, livestock rearing, collection of non-timber forest products and medicinal plants.