Akosombo dam © Kevin Smith
Habitat loss primarily due to deforestation, agriculture, and to a lesser extent mining, impacts over 85% of the regionally threatened species and nearly half of all species in the region. Water pollution impacts over 55% of threatened species, with agriculture and the resulting sedimentation identified as the main causes along with commercial/industrial activities (including mining). Only 19% of species from these taxonomic groups have no current threat identified, and 8% of the threatened species also have no current threat identified. However, these species will be listed as threatened due to future threats – for example, a dam may be planned to be constructed upstream of the rapids in which a species survives. For 27% 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 western Africa