Critical species of Odonata in southwestern Africa


In this report we review the conservation status of Odonata of southwestern Africa, viz Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In total, 287 species have been recorded of which three have been previously listed by IUCN. We consider 60 species mainly because of their endemism in the region. The majority of the species have to be categorised as ‘data deficient’ according to IUCN regulations. The most important freshwater habitats in the region are the extensive swamps in the Kalahari basin, such as the Okavango Delta, the Caprivi swamps and the swamps along the courses of the middle Zambezi system, which host a unique odonate community. The most important threats for species in the region include overuse of water, construction of dams in the large rivers and deforestation. We strongly recommend extensive research on the Angolan and Zambian odonate faunas, which appear to be the richest in the regions, although they are poorly investigated.

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