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: Giraffe

Nominated by: Tusk Task Force

Conservation status: There are nine subspecies of giraffes and most are threatened. Some subspecies are classified Vulnerable (Nubian, 250 left in the wild in E/S Sudan, SW Ethiopia) and Endangered such as the Rothschild’s (Baringo/Uganda, fewer than 700 in Kenya, South Sudan, and Uganda) and West African (Niger/Nigerian, with less than 220 remaining in Cameroon, SW Niger). There are only 38 Congolese giraffes left in the wild.

Giraffes are now extinct in Angola, Eritrea, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, and Senegal but reintroduced in Rwanda and the Swaziland.

Why do you love it? Due to the “silent extinction” that the species is now facing. Tusk Task Force is the only USA-based NGO focusing on giraffes (along with the elephant and the rhino) as part of its wildlife conservation mission.

What are the threats to the giraffe? Pervasive poaching of giraffe has been reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, and Tanzania with heads and bones believed to be sold for $140 USD each. Bush meat also provides a substantial source of income for impoverished rural communities in rural Africa.

Giraffes are poached for their brains and bone marrow, sold as fake cure for HIV, AIDS and cancer in China and Vietnam by smugglers. Giraffe tails are poached to make bracelets, necklaces, and other jewellery. In Tanzania and the Congo, giraffes are killed by wildlife terrorists for food while they poach for elephants and rhinos, making poaching a triple-threat to three species at the same time. Giraffes are also suffering as a result of indiscriminate killing for ivory. The “silent extinction” of giraffes is exacerbated by habitat destruction due to deforestation, development, and farming.

What are you doing to save it? Our vision and mission to save the species are three-fold: Advocacy, Protection, and Research. Along with the UK-based Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) and the Giraffe Conservation Alliance (GCA), we aim to improve the giraffe’s population outcomes that is free from harm, due to human conflict and human violence.


  • Build public awareness through consulting, education, public relations, and research
  • Influence public policy channels by supporting legislation supporting giraffe conservation on the international, national, state, and local levels
  • Ally and consult with other advocates and NGOs on their targeted giraffe conservation campaigns
  • Deliver public policy advocacy resources and to advocates and/or individuals at the grassroots level through our Tusk Ambassadors™ program
  • Support global advocates on all levels, aligned with our mission, promoting giraffe conservation


  • Allocate tactical and operational resources to wildlife park rangers protecting giraffes
  • Execute direct and in-direct force protection programs through our Tusk Defenders™ program
  • Partner with other NGOs to help with their anti-poaching and giraffe conservation efforts
  • Ally with technology firms to enhance innovative tools to combat poaching of giraffes
  • Collaborate with other NGOs to support a vibrant wildlife economy instead of a violent extinction economy that includes humanitarian aid to communities affected by poaching


  • Provide a comprehensive repository of intelligence on the subject including the DoW or DATA on Wildlife™ (Database of All Terrorist Activities on Wildlife) with regards to giraffe population
  • Compile, analyse, provide, and share intelligence of giraffe casualties to all advocates and NGOs
  • Promote data-driven and knowledge-based approach to help us address solutions to alleviate giraffe mortality rates
  • Authenticate with intelligence sources to confirm information regarding general and specific wildlife terrorism events on giraffes
  • Corroborate each source of intelligence we acquire using “triangulation” or “five points” methodology to make sure that the source is as accurate as possible.

Find out more about the work of Tusk Task Force

Did you know the okapi is the giraffe’s closest relative? Find out more about the okapi on Arkive



  • Beatrice Walser (February 13th, 2016 at 11:34 am):

    There are only 38 Kordofan giraffes left in the world!