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: Pileated gibbon

Nominated by: Wildlife Alliance

Conservation status: Endangered

Why do you love it? We love gibbons because unlike most primates, gibbons are monogamous and will stay with their partners for life. These affectionate primates live in close family units, and defend territories of up to 30 acres. Known for their beautiful and complex vocalisation that can transmit over long distances, bonded pairs will often duet together in the mornings.

These acrobatic apes are also the fastest and most agile of all tree-dwelling, non-flying mammals! Their extremely long arms and legs can propel them up to speeds of approximately 35 miles per hour through the jungle and allow them to swing distances as wide as 50 feet!  While they can travel short bipedal distances, they are arboreal and prefer to avoid the ground.

What are the threats to the pileated gibbon? There are less than 35,000 pileated gibbons left in the wild, and their populations are in sharp decline. They are threatened by hunting, the illegal pet trade and habitat degradation and fragmentation.

What are you doing to save it? While the situation maybe dire, there is still hope. Wildlife Alliance’s forest protection program works tirelessly to protect two million acres of crucial gibbon habitat and our anti-trafficking unit rescues gibbons from the illegal wildlife and pet trade. Individuals are often rescued from wildlife poachers that sell them as pets or tourist attractions in bars and hotels. Our team also receives many donations of gibbons that have been torn away from their mothers as infants and kept as pets until owners realise they cannot control these wild animals. Animals that can no longer survive in the wild are given a life-long home at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center. Here, our caretakers work hard to rehabilitate the animals, and house them in spacious enclosures to facilitate natural behaviour. Through outreach and education, Wildlife Alliance is also working to raise awareness in Asia about the dangers of keeping primates as pets.

Find out more about the work of the Wildlife Alliance

Discover more gibbon species on Arkive



  • Cindy Guarnieri (February 13th, 2016 at 8:46 pm):

    Must do everything possible to save this endangered species. Every species of animals benefits every other species of animals. Every species benefits Mother Earth and all of our environments.

  • Scarlet Rivera (February 15th, 2016 at 7:48 pm):

    These long limbed Gibbons are some of the most elegant ariel acrobatst of the primates…they are breathtaking in their beauty and are known for their beautiful haunting song …they were much loved in ancient cultures and should be today!!