IUCN Red List Status

Continental Africa supports a significant proportion of the world's freshwater species, with fishes particularly well represented.

Estimated numbers of extant inland water-dependent species by major taxonomic group 

 Taxon

Number of described species

Number of species in Africa

% of global total found in Africa

Fishes ~15,000 2831 19%
Molluscs  ~ 5,000 594 12%
Odonates     5,680 709 12%
Crabs  c.1,300 117 9%

 

Of the 4,526 species endemic to Continental Africa, one fifth are threatened with extinction. The study found that 21% of all freshwater taxa are globally threatened, including 22% of fishes, 28% of molluscs, 23% of crabs, 25% of aquatic plants and 9% of dragonflies and damselflies. These results are the latest released during the International Year of Biodiversity, highlighting the perilous state of our natural environment.

Summary of the IUCN Red List Category classifications at the global scale by taxonomic groupings
Taxon
Total
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC DD
Fishes 2788 0.1% 0% 4% 5% 13% 3% 57% 19%
Molluscs 538 3% 0% 9% 12% 7% 6% 34% 30%
Odonates 625 0% 0% 2% 2% 5% 3% 72% 15%
Crabs 117 0% 0% 2% 9% 12% 2% 55% 20%
Aquatic plants 471 0% 0.2% 6% 5% 13% 8% 49% 18%

IUCN Red List Categories: EX - Extinct, EW - Extinct in the Wild, CR - Critically Endangered, EN - Endangered, VU - Vulnerable, NT - Near Threatened, LC - Least Concern, DD - Data Deficient

Almost 5,000 species were assessed at the Pan-Africa regional level, including about 500 that are also found elsewhere in the world. A total of 20% of species assessed are threatened within Continental Africa.

Summary of the IUCN Red List Category classifications at the regional scale by taxonomic groupings
Taxon Total EX EW RE CR EN VU NT LC DD
Fishes  2831 0.1% 0% 0%  4% 5% 12% 3% 58% 18%
Molluscs  594  3% 0% 0.5%  9% 12% 6% 6% 34% 28%
Odonates  709  0% 0% 0%  3% 2% 5% 4% 73% 13%
Crabs  117  0% 0% 0%  2% 9% 12% 2% 55% 20%
Aquatic plants 738 0% 0.1% 0% 4% 4% 10% 7% 59% 15%

IUCN Red List Categories: EX - Extinct, RE - Regionally Extinct, EW - Extinct in the Wild, CR - Critically Endangered, EN - Endangered, VU - Vulnerable, NT - Near Threatened, LC - Least Concern, DD - Data Deficient