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Posted Wed Sep 8 2010: from Scientific American:
Report: 21 percent of Africa's freshwater species threatened with extinction
More than a fifth of Africa's freshwater species are threatened with extinction, and their disappearance could threaten livelihoods across the continent, according to a new study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The study, conducted for the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species, assessed 5,167 African freshwater species over a five-year period. Two hundred scientists contributed to the report, which covers fish, mollusks, crabs, aquatic plants and aquatic insects such as dragonflies and damselflies.... [A]n introduced species (the Nile perch, Lates niloticus) have caused a reduction in the lake's native species over the last 30 years and as a result threatened traditional fisheries that any in the region depend upon for their livelihoods and food supplies. According to the study, 45 percent of the 191 fish species in Lake Victoria are threatened or even thought to already be extinct. Lake Victoria is located between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Sometimes overfishing is the problem, thanks to Africa's growing population. In Lake Malawi (located between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania), the population of one important fish species, Oreochromis karongae, has declined 70 percent in just the past 10 years. The IUCN has listed the species as endangered since 2004.
[Read more stories about: invasive species, overfishing, overpopulation]

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