Over 140,000 described species – including 55% of all fishes – rely on freshwater habitats for their survival. Freshwater species are important to local ecosystems, provide sources of food and income to humans and are key to flood and erosion control.
However, freshwater species are going extinct more rapidly than terrestrial or marine species. Almost one-third of freshwater biodiversity face extinction, largely due to habitat loss, introduction of alien species, pollution, and over-harvesting. This problem is expected to worsen as the human population grows.
Freshwater publications for assessments of species and sites are available online
- Freshwater conservation in Southern Africa
- Freshwater conservation in Eastern Africa
- Malawi/Nyasa/Niassa catchment
- Freshwater biodiversity in the Lake Victoria Basin