Feb 1

We’ve asked conservation organisations around the world to nominate a species that they believe to be overlooked, underappreciated and unloved, and tell us why they think that they deserve a fair share of the limelight, this Valentine’s Day.

Each nominee’s story is featured on the Arkive blog with information on the species, what makes them so special, the conservation organisation that nominated them and how they are working to save them from extinction.

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 to help get them into the top ten unloved species and get them the recognition that they truly deserve! Share your favourite with others using the #LoveSpecies hashtag on Twitter and Facebook and tell them why they should vote for them too. Voting closes on February 14th at 23:59 PST (07:59 GMT).

Join us and our conservation partners in celebrating and raising awareness for some of the world’s most unloved species this Valentine’s Day!

Species: Djibouti francolin

Nominated by: IUCN Galliformes Species Specialist Group

Conservation status: Critically Endangered

Why do you love it? It is endemic to threatened juniper and other forest in a minute range (two known sites) on escarpments in Djibouti. The Djibouti francolin the least publicised of our nine CR species and is a good flagship for its threatened woodland habitats.

What are the threats to the Djibouti francolin? Browsing of juniper seedlings by domestic stock is preventing regeneration as old trees die which is reducing the amount of suitable habitat for this species. Firewood collection, hunting and droughts are also implicated in the decline of this species.

What are you doing to save it? There are likely to be less than 500 individuals left in the wild, and there are none in captivity. Experimental exclusion of stock by fencing has demonstrated that the juniper has the capacity to regenerate, but this practice needs to be scaled up and maintained if it is to be beneficial. Effective action for this species requires the cooperation of shepherds and other local users of the forests. Research into its precise ecological requirements is also required. There is a case for establishing a captive population, using capacity outside Djibouti but in the region.

Find out more about Galliformes and their conservation

Discover more grouse, partridge, pheasant, quail and turkey species on Arkive




  • Houssein Rayaleh (February 2nd, 2016 at 5:34 pm):

    Thanks to GSG members for the nomination of this species that my work over the last 20 years made it locally a national symbol since it has been edited in a cone in the national currency. As the guardian of this species in the framework of BirdLife International’s previnting extinction species programme.

    Hope this campaign will be the starting step to safe it from the extinction.

    Housein Rayaleh

  • Michel Ottaviani (February 2nd, 2016 at 10:35 pm):

    WPA France works for the Galliformes conservation include the Djibouti Francolin but I am aware of going on the protection of this threatened species.