Overgrazing due to the rapid expansion of the cattle population is a continuing threat to the vegetation and wildlife of Botswana. There are five game reserves, three game sanctuaries, and 40 controlled hunting areas. About 18% of the land has been set aside as national parks and game reserves. Natural hazards to the environment include seasonal winds from the west that blow sand and dust across the country.
Botswana has a very limited water supply that is inadequate for its increasing population, and the nation's water shortage is exacerbated by periodic droughts. One major factor in Botswana's water supply problem is that 68% of the country is part of the Kalahari desert. The country has 2.9 cu km of renewable water resources, 46% of which is used for farming. Almost all of Botswana's urban dwellers and 90% of its rural people have access to safe water.
In a total of 164 species of mammals, five are endangered, including the black rhinoceros, the African hunting dog, and the African savannah elephant. Burchell's zebra has become extinct. Seven bird species of 386 are also endangered. Four plant species in a total of 2,800 are threatened with extinction.