Protected Areas


 Areas Protected

 106,838 km2

Terrestrial and Inland Water



Area protected, as per WDPA

Area protected, as per country reports

Coastal and Marine Coverage

Not Applicable

Area protected or conserved,
as per WDPA

Key species

Zimbabwe is home to almost 6,000 vascular plant species, of which 214 are endemic. There are 211 species considered threatened, but this is not a full count as only 10% have been assessed for threat status. Zimbabwe is also home to 670 bird species, 270 mammals, 156 reptile species, 120 amphibians and 151 fish species. There is limited knowledge of micro-organisms.

Pressures and threats

The major causes of biodiversity loss in Zimbabwe are: habitat loss and degradation due to unsustainable agricultural expansion, overgrazing, use of trees as an energy source, fire damage, mining, and infrastructural development; invasive alien species; and climate change. Many birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals are also directly threatened by illegal or unsustainable harvesting, for the illegal bushmeat wildlife trade. High levels of pollution in Zimbabwe’s aquatic systems have also had a large impact on biodiversity in the country.  Underpinning these direct threats are the longer-term challenges of poverty, uncontrolled economic development and a lack of institutional capacity to sustainably manage natural resources.

Zimbabwe has 232 protected areas covering 106,838 km  (UNEPWCMC & IUCN, 2019y).  Zimbabwe has a rich history of biodiversity conservation. It has established an extensive protected areas network and enacted legislation for strict conservation and preservation in some areas and sustainable utilisation in others.

Its protected areas network puts Zimbabwe among the top 50 countries globally with respect to protected area coverage. Biodiversity is an important base for Zimbabwe’s economy and supports the livelihoods of the majority of its population.

Protected and conserved areas designated as global sites of importance

Global designation

Number of sites

UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserves


UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Natural or Mixed)


Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar sites)


 Source ((Ramsar, 2019; UNESCO, 2019a, 2019b)


Priority areas for conservation


Number of sites

Alliance for Zero Extinction sites


Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas


Key Biodiversity Areas


 (AZE Secretariat, 2019; BirdLife International, 2019c, 2019a)

Regional Reference Information System Zimbabwe

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