Lungfish for sale, Yaekela, DRC. Photo © K.D. Djikstra
The figure below shows the major current threats to freshwater biodiversity in central Africa (for more detail on the threats to freshwater ecosystems in central Africa, see Chapter 1 of the report, downloadable from here). Habitat loss is the largest threat, with deforestation, agriculture and mining, affecting 64% of assessed species. Sedimentation is a particular threat to molluscs, but still affects 12% of all freshwater species in the region. Water pollution from agriculture impacts 9% of all assessed species. Invasive species are a major threat to some areas of Africa, particularly eastern and southern Africa; however, within central Africa this is only thought to be impacting around 1% of species. Although 52% of species have no known threats at present, only 2% of these are within threatened categories, illustrating that the vast majority of threatened species are facing threats now, and are not categorised as threatened on account of plausible future threats. Action must therefore be taken immediately to reduce the decreasing population trends these species are likely to be experiencing. For a further 39% of the species, threats are potentially present but there is insufficient information available to be sure (classified as “unknown”).
Major current threats to freshwater species in central Africa.