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: Pousargues’s mongoose

Nominated by: Chinko Project

Conservation status: Data Deficient

Why do you love it? This species is mainly known from only a few museum specimens with imprecise data on location of origin; and had not been spotted in the wild for the past 20 years until very recently! Dologale dybowskii is a formidable example of how little is still known about certain species and areas in wide parts of Central Africa and how we continue to be amazed with important discoveries and by species’ resilience.

We began our conservation work in eastern Central African Republic by conducting the first systematic inventory of mammals and birds in the area. The rediscovery of Dologale dybowskii after 20 years of no news or direct sightings of this species was a highlight and helped to develop a sustainable management plan for the region.

Dologale dybwoskii unfortunately is not alone, and is among a host of other poorly known endemic species to the Northern Congolian Forest-Savanna. Chinko falls in the centre of their distribution, it harbours many globally important populations and is the last stronghold for many Sudanian savanna species like the eastern giant eland and the globally endangered African wild dog.

What are the threats to Pousargues’s mongoose? The natural habitat of Dologale dybowskii has become increasingly threatened just in the last few years due to human encroachment for agriculture, cattle-ranching and artisanal mining.

The large-scale movements of herders with their livestock from the Sahel to southern areas, including the native home of Dologale dybowski, destroys the rich woodland savanna and forests of Central Africa.

What are you doing to save it? Chinko, one of ten parks managed by African Parks, is a 17,600 square kilometre nature reserve in the heart of Africa – and one of the last pristine mosaics of wooded savannah and tropical lowland rainforest in the east of the Central African Republic. The work here goes beyond conservation, it represents hope for stability and governance in one of the poorest and least stable regions on earth including ongoing military conflict and depletion of natural resources.

One of our goals is the long term preservation of the natural habitat of Dologale dybowskii and the maintenance of robust, individual-rich and diverse populations of typical residents of this astonishing ecosystem.

There are still many things to learn about the ecology of Central Africa, and the inconspicuous Dologale dybowskii serves as a stark reminder to further study and protect the marvels of Chinko and preserve this unique wilderness in the heart of Africa.

Find out more about the Chinko Project

Find out more about the African Parks Network

Discover more mongoose and meerkat species on Arkive