Senegal is the westernmost point on the African mainland, and its capital, Dakar, has historically served as the gateway to West Africa. Senegal’s economy is based primarily on agriculture, particularly the production of peanuts and cotton, but this sector has been hurt by drought and low commodity prices. A rapidly growing population is placing enormous stress on Senegal’s limited land resources, agricultural production, and forest resources. Over 80 percent of the population lives in the western half of the country; nearly 70 percent are farmers, but the urban population is steadily increasing. Senegal has a wide range of bioclimatic regions. The semiarid Sahel in the north is home to pastoral societies. The Sudanian region in the central and southern part of the country has a mix of settled farming communities and wooded savannas. In the sub-Guinean region of the southwest, rice-producing peoples live among forests and mangrove-fringed estuaries. Many of the woodlands in the central and southern regions have been degraded by charcoal production and overharvesting of timber for export. The large Niokolo-Koba National Park in the southeast still preserves diverse landscapes, flora and fauna once found across much of West Africa.