A conservation assessment of the freshwater crabs of southern Africa (Brachyura: Potamonautidae)
Recent taxonomic revisions of the freshwater crabs of southern Africa (Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe) allow accurate depictions of their diversity, distribution patterns and conservation status. The southern African region is home to nineteen species of freshwater crabs all belonging to the genus Potamonautes (family Potamonautidae). These crabs show high levels of species endemism (84%) to the southern African region and to the country of South Africa (74%). The conservation status of each species is assessed using the IUCN (2003) Red List criteria, based on detailed compilations of the majority of known specimens. The results indicate that one species should be considered vulnerable, fifteen species least concern and three species data deficient. The results have been utilized by the IUCN for Red Lists, and may prove useful when developing a conservation strategy for southern Africa's endemic freshwater crab fauna. © 2007 The Authors.