The main task of nature protection is to conserve the diversity of ecosystems and organisms. The targets of the effort in nature conservation are the plant and animal species, together with their specific habitats. However, such endeavour can only be successful if theory and practice complement each other in a significant way. In this connection some aspects of research and conservation measures concerning dragonflies are discussed. The needs of ecological research are outlined and some priorities for future work are suggested: surveys which are directly applicable by nature conservation institutions, basic investigations of habitat selection, dispersal, population dynamics, colonization of newly established ponds and revitalized running waters, succession, the impact of larva predation by fish on local fauna. Conservation of the various types of larval habitat, including the inconspicuous ones, is one of the main requirements of practical dragonfly protection. Furthermore, it is necessary to construct new water bodies which are suitable for endangered species (e.g. oligotrophic ponds differing in relief, soil, depth, water regime and vegetation structure). For the management of larval habitats various practical measures are suggested, including the “rotation model”. Some arguments for dragonfly protection are provided and it is stressed that the European fauna cannot be successfully protected without the personal involvement of odonatologists.