Biodiversity within inland water ecosystems in western Africa is both highly diverse and of great regional importance to livelihoods and economies. However, western Africa is currently undergoing huge levels of development, with a population which is projected to double by 2050 to over 600 million people. Development activities are not always compatible with the conservation of this diversity and it is poorly represented within the development planning process. One of the main reasons cited for inadequate representation of biodiversity is a lack of readily available information on the status and distribution of inland water taxa. In response to this need for information, the IUCN Species Programme, in collaboration with Wetlands International conducted a regional assessment of the status and distribution of 1,395 taxa of freshwater fishes, molluscs, odonates, crabs, and selected families of aquatic plants from across western Africa.

The full regional report is available to download from the IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Unit pages here. Please note, as this project was carried out over six years, regional assessments may not be as accurate as more recently completed global assessments for a species. For the most up-to-date information currently available to the IUCN for a particular species, check the Global or Pan-Africa assessments.

Western Africa assessment region