Southern Africa is defined here as Africa south of the Zambezi and Kunene Rivers. Here, annual average rainfall, rainfall season, and effective temperature are climatic factors which influence anostracan distribution. The type of temporary pool also appears to have some effect on distribution. Areas of high species richness are not confined to any particular climatic region and such areas occur in arid, montane and subtropical regions of southern Africa. Forty-six anostracan species have been recorded from the subcontinent and 80% of these are endemic. IUCN Red Data assessment of species revealed that two species can be considered 'Critically Endangered', while a further four are 'Endangered', and three are 'Vulnerable'. Many parts of southern Africa have been inadequately sampled but in South Africa, where the anostracans are relatively well known, temporary pool inhabitants are threatened mainly by agriculture, urbanization, pollution and pesticides.