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Freshwater Species Data: Increasing Knowledge on Biodiversity in Sub-Saharan Africa

Freshwater Species Data: Increasing Knowledge on Biodiversity in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Patterns of richness and threat for four freshwater groups represent significant new knowledge on the distribution and status of Africa’s biodiversity.


The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

IUCN 2013. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. http://www.iucnredlist.org.

see also:

Darwall, W.R.T., Holland, R.A., Smith, K.G., Allen, D., Brooks, E.G.E., Katarya, V., Pollock, C.M., Shi, Y., Clausnitzer, V., Cumberlidge, N., Cuttelod, A., Dijikstra, K-D.B., Diop, M.D., Garcia, N., Seddon, M.B., Skelton, P.H., Snoeks, J., Tweddle, D., & Vie, J-C. 2011. Implications of bias in conservation research and investment for freshwater species. Conservation Letters 4: 474-482 (link).

(map reproduced with kind permission from the Journal Conservation Letters)


with support provided by: EuropeAid and BioFresh project




William Darwall email


William Darwall 
Head - Freshwater Biodiversity Unit 
IUCN Species Programme 
219c Huntingdon Road 
Cambridge CB3 0DL, United Kingdom

Related Publications

  • Darwall, W.R.T., Smith, K.G., Allen, D.J. et al., editors. (2011). The diversity of life in African freshwaters: under water, under threat. An analysis of the status and distribution of freshwater species throughout mainland Africa. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.
  • Vörösmarty, C.J., McIntyre, P.B., Gessner, M.O. et al. (2010). Global threats to human water security and river biodiversity. Nature 467: 551–561.

base layer references

    • River catchments are delineated according to a modified version of the HYDRO1K Elevation Derivative Database that derives catchment boundaries based on a 30 arc-second digital elevation mode. Source: https://lta.cr.usgs.gov/HYDRO1K.
    • The GIS layers for species richness and threatened species richness of freshwater species in Sub-Saharan Africa were based on data from the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM, as mapped to Hydro1K level. Source: www.iucnredlist.org.


This work was made possible through the financial assistance of the European Union under projects EuropeAid/ENV/2004–81917, and "Biodiversity of Freshwater Ecosystems: Trends, Pressures and Conservation Priorities (BioFresh)". The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union. We would also like to thank the many individuals who conducted the work of compiling the species information data set. The designation of geographical entities in this map, and the presentation of the material, do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of IUCN or other participating organizations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

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Related Atlases

  • The"Related Atlases" collection contains a variety of geospatial information sources related to biodiversity including online atlases, geoportals and biodiversity databases.

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