Pan Africa Media Pack


The facts and figures file summarizes key findings of the Pan Africa study including Red List Statistics, aplication of species information for environmental management and information about the main threats to freshwater biodiversity across continental Africa.



Download amazing and easy to read conservation stories about some of our unique African freshwater species:

If you decide to use these stories please cite the publication where they come from: Darwall, W.R.T., Smith, K.G., Allen, D.J., Holland, R.A, Harrison, I.J., and Brooks, E.G.E. (eds.). 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. Cambridge, United Kingdom and Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.


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Pictures of African freshwater species.

1) A freshly caught species of  the Catfish, Euchilichthys royauxi (Least Concern), adapted to living in large rapids in the Congo River basin.

2) Tigerfish, Hydrocynus vittatus (Least Concern) is a species popular among the sport fishing community. This iconic species is generally common and abundant with a wide distribution across Africa, but is locally depleted by heavy fishing pressure.

3) Fisherman's Catch from the Malagarasi River delta, Tanzania. The high diversity of fish communities, such as seen here are often impacted when dams are constructed.

4) The Congo Blind Barb Caecobarbus geertsii is listed as Vulnerable and endemic to Africa. It is the only African freshwater fish listed in CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endagered Species). See Species in the Spotlight, above, for a full story on this enigmatic species.

5) Arabicnemis caerulea (Least Concern) in the only species of its genus. It is endemic to stream oases in southern Arabia and may represent relicts of odonate exchange between tropical Africa and Asia.

6) Aeshna minuscule (Least Concern) represents a characteristic Afro-montane genera.

7) Umma electa (Least Concern) is a spectacular species discovered during recent fieldwork in north-west Zambia.

8) Cordulegaster princeps (Near Threatened) is the only endemic dragonfly of Morocco, where it occurs on small streams in the Atlas

9) The Common Creek Crab Liberonautes latidactylus (Least Concern) is the most common and most frequently caught freshwater crab in small streams throughout the rainforest and savanna zones of western Africa

10) The Purple March Crab, Afrithelphusa monodosa (Endangered) is known from only a few specimens from two localities in Gambia. This species is clearly a competent air-breather and has a pair of well-developed pseudolungs.

11) Cadiscus aquaticus (Critically Endangered) is endemic to the Western Cape, South Africa. It is restricted to vernal pools where it is threatened through overgrazing by livestock, infilling of wetlands, invasion by alien grasses and eutrophication.

12) Aponogeton angustifolius (Vulnerable) is restricted to Cape Province in South Africa, where it is threatened by habitat loss due to urbanization.

13) Oxalis dines (Endangered) is only known from eight locations in the Western Cape. It is found in seasonal pans in clay where it is threatened by heavy grazing and trampling.

14) Tomichia cawstoni, a Critically Endangered species currently only known from one location in South Africa.

15) Tiphobia horei (Least Concern), a species endemic to Lake Tanganyika, where it is locally impacted by sedimentation, dredging and collection for the shell trade.

  • The Diversity of Life in African Freshwaters: Under Water, Under Threat.
  • IUCN