• threatened fishes;
  • southern Africa;
  • endangered fishes;
  • alien fishes;
  • habitat destruction;
  • conservation.

The conservation status of 24 threatened freshwater fishes and seven estuarine fishes from southern Africa is discussed against the background of natural and anthropogenic environmental factors. The majority of threatened species are endemic temperate forms with restricted ranges. Major threats include introduced alien fishes and a wide spectrum of environmentally destructive causes. Research on threatened species includes distribution surveys, biological and ecological studies and methods of artificial propagation. Long-term remedies based on ecosystem conservation are also being promoted. The perceptions and attitudes of nature conservation authorities are adjusting to the new challenges offish conservation. The number of threatened fishes in Africa is likely to increase in the face of escalating problems of habitat destruction and degradation.