Feb 1

We asked conservation organisations around the world to nominate a species that they believe to be overlooked, underappreciated and unloved, and write a profile on why they think that they deserve a fair share of the limelight. Each nominee has its own profile on the Arkive blog with information on the species, who nominated them and why they are so special – click the ‘unloved species’ tag above to see all of the nominations and their blogs.

Once you have perused the blogs you can vote for your favourite species to help get them into the top ten and get them the recognition that they truly deserve! Share your favourite with others and tell them why they should vote for them too. Voting closes on February 14th at 23:59 PST (7:59 GMT).


Species: African wild dog

Nominated by: David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF)

Conservation status: Endangered

Why do you love it? These incredible dogs are the most endangered carnivores in Africa. Persecuted by farmers, killed indiscriminately by poachers snares and on busy roads, sympathy and funding to protect these fearsome pack animals is hard to muster. Their pack structure is complex, their care for their young tender and shared among the pack. The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation has been funding work to protect these dwindling dog populations in Zimbabwe for over 20 years and would love the world to love them too!

What are the threats to the African wild dog? In Zimbabwe, the economy remains in crisis which spells bad news for wildlife. African wild dogs, or ‘painted dogs’, have been badly affected by trapping for bush meat. Domestic dog diseases such as rabies can wipe out whole packs quickly. Amplifying these threats, ignorance continues to play a huge part in the destruction of the species, despite there being no record of a human being attacked or killed by painted dogs.

What are you doing to save it? DSWF funds monitoring work and anti-poaching teams which provide a blanket of protection of 10,500sqkm and has collected over 20,000 snares.

DSWF supports the project headquarters and its vital education project to encourage tolerance for the dogs from local communities and ranchers. To complement work in the field, DSWF supports education and awareness work with the goal of destroying existing myths about the dogs as dangerous pests. Every year, over 1,000 children in Zimbabwe attend an inspiring education programme to encourage respect for the painted dog.

Find out more about the David Shepherd Trust’s African wild dog project

Discover more wild dog species on Arkive