Nutrient-rich water bodies are usually expected to host low species richness at the local scale (water body). Nevertheless, they can support a diverse and sometimes unique biodiversity when diversity is considered at a regional scale. This discrepancy between the two scales is well documented for natural water bodies, but little is known about biodiversity of artificial water bodies, like fish ponds. We hypothesise that nutrient-rich water bodies can collectively host high species richness at the regional scale. Thus, these are important ecosystems for the regional conservation of biodiversity. We investigated 84 fish ponds in the Dombes region, France, with five taxonomic groups: macrophytes, phytoplankton, macroinvertebrates, dragonflies, and amphibians. Species richness patterns were determined for α- (single pond), β- (between ponds), and γ- (regional pond network) levels. For most studied species groups, richness per fish pond and at the regional level proved to be relatively high in comparison with natural ponds in other landscapes. Contribution of α-diversity to regional diversity was highest for dragonflies with 41 %, and lowest for amphibians and macrophytes with 16 and 18 %, respectively. For macroinvertebrate families and phytoplankton genera it was intermediate. Contribution of β-diversity to regional diversity was similar for all species groups with 22–25 %. Furthermore, some ponds hosted a large number of less frequent species and some endangered species, indicating that the conservation of biodiversity of fish ponds must be established at a regional scale.