African livelihoods at risk as species threatened: IUCN
Saturday 04 September 2010
Millions of Africans may lose a key source of livelihoods as a fifth of freshwater African species are threatened with extinction, the updated Red List of endangered species showed Thursday.
Scientists conducting a survey on 5,167 African freshwater species found that some 21 percent of species of fish, molluscs, crabs, dragonflies and aquatic plants were at risk of becoming extinct, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said in a statement.
As fish is the main source of protein and livelihoods for much of Africa's poorest people, the disappearance of fish species could have a devastating impact on the local population, the IUCN noted.
Some 7.5 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are thought to depend on fisheries.
"If we don't stem the loss of these species, not only will the richness of Africa's biodiversity be reduced forever, but millions of people will lose a key source of income, food and materials," warned William Darwall, manager of the IUCN's freshwater biodiversity unit.
In Lake Victoria, which stretches across Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya for instance, almost half - 45 percent - of 191 fish species studied were threatened with extinction or already extinct.
In Cameroon's Barombi Mbo crater-lake, 11 species of fish - some of which are key food sources, are highly threatened.
Jean-Christophe Vie, deputy head of the IUCN's species programme also noted the importance of freshwater ecosystems.
"Freshwaters provide a home for a disproportionate level of the world's biodiversity," he said.
"Although they cover just one percent of the planet's surface, freshwater ecosystems are actually home to around seven percent of all species," he added.
Life & Style blogs
Penis size study: what's 'normal' anyway?
Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
Penis size: is there a correlation with sexual satisfaction? A scientific look
Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 3 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway in dense fog
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 The majority of sex workers enjoy their job - why should we find that surprising?
£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This European market leader for security...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of refrig...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a customer focused, pro...