The only known population of the rarest crustacean on the planet (Afrithelphusa monodosus) lives on a
small patch of heavily degraded mangrove forest in Guinea, part of the Guinean Forests of West Africa Biodiversity Hotspot.
Fewer than 50 of this species have been recorded in the wild, and little is known about its biology. During a recent survey, our scientists became the first to observe and photograph this crab since its last sighting in 1947. Sadly, three other closely related species are similarly rare and also considered Critically Endangered.
This crab’s mangrove forest home is vital to unique flora and fauna able to survive on the boundary between land and sea. Throughout the tropics, mangrove forests serve as nurseries for fish and crustacean species, buffer the impacts of storms, and are an important timber resource. The pressure from increasing human populations along these coastal areas impacts the biodiversity found there and the people who depend on it for survival.
With corporate partners, our Center for Environmental Leadership in Business provided support for the scientific survey that rediscovered the land crab. We engage businesses on multiple levels to integrate biodiversity concerns into their corporate sustainability plans. CI is currently working with local partners in Guinea to complete an analysis of priority sites, known as Key Biodiversity Areas, which will help us better integrate conservation with human development needs. Stop the Clock on Species Extinction