Using the IUCN categories and criteria, the conservation status of the South African dragonfly fauna has been assessed. IUCN recommendations for adjusting the global categories and criteria for national red listing have been taken into consideration, A total of 40 taxa are listed as threatened or near-threatened, which is 25% of the national total (160 sp. and ssp.). The precautionary rather than evidentiary approach is taken throughout, especially as many sp. are marginal and although not threatened globally are highly threatened locally. Nevertheless, it is clear that locally the South African odonate fauna is under severe threat, especially the stream sp. Many of the threats are synergistic, both with natural drought/flood cycles, and with other threats. Restoration of hydrological regimes and riparian conditions are promoting conservation of this odonate assemblage.