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Biodiversity within inland water ecosystems in southern Africa is highly diverse and of great importance to livelihoods and economies, however, development activities are not always compatible with the conservation of this diversity and it is poorly represented in the development planning process. One of the main reasons is a lack of readily available information on the status and distribution of inland water taxa. In response to this need for information, the IUCN Species Programme, in collaboration with the South Africa Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) conducted a regional assessment of 1,279 taxa of freshwater fishes, molluscs, odonates, crabs, and selected families of aquatic plants from across southern Africa.