Fact Sheet 3 : Economic Profile

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The Limpopo river basin is endowed with a variety of biological resources, ranging from crawling insects to large mammals such as the elephants and from non-vascular to vascular plants. Some of the biological resources found in the basin are endemic, and others are migratory. (Table 1) Unfortunately, there are no known records of species numbers, number of endemics, and species density exclusively for the Limpopo river basin.

Number of species for certain categories in each country as per World Resources 2000-2001 statistics
Total Mammal Species
Total Bird Species
Total Reptile Species
Total Amphibian Species
Total Plant Species
Botswana 164 (5) 386 (7) 157 (0) 38 (0) 215 (0)
Mozambique 179 (13) 498 (14) 167 (5) 62 (0) 5692 (57)
South Africa 255 (33) 596 (16) 315 (19) 108 (9) 23 420 (1875)
Zimbabwe 270 (9) 532 (9) 153 (0) 120 (0) 4 440 (73)

Brackets indicate numbers of threatened species


Despite the huge biological and physical resource base, the Limpopo river basin largely remains a grey area in terms of knowledge. A lot that is attributable to the basin is based on extrapolations. This is a worrying fact given that the basin is the most developed in southern Africa with significant mining and manufacturing concerns. The basin is highly developed, with four percent of its area having been built-up.

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