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: Yellow-shouldered parrot

Nominated by: Provita


Conservation status: Vulnerable (IUCN Red List), Endangered (Venezuelan Red Book)

Why do you love it? This is the first species that we actively worked on, and whose population has recovered due to our work. Our first population surveys in the late 80s showed that 650 to 700 birds lived on Margarita Island, the site of Provita’s hand-on conservation projects during the last 3 decades. At present, numbers have reached 1600 to 1700 birds. We feel a great sense of accomplishment and responsibility.

Poaching pressure is still very high and habitat conversion has not ceased, but through a combination of nest monitoring, habitat restoration and conservation education, risk of extinction has decreased. A major alliance has been built around the parrot on Margarita. From the police and military, to universities, state and municipal government, the private sector, civil society and local communities, numerous people and institutions work together every year. Our work on behalf of the yellow-shouldered parrot symbolises Provita’s conservation model and shows that long-term, participatory engagement works to recover threatened species. This is the species for which we are better-known.

What are the threats to the yellow-shouldered parrot? Primarily the poaching of nestlings for the pet trade, and habitat conversion by open-sky sand-mining (which removes all the vegetation, including nesting trees).

What are you doing to save it? We have been working on behalf of the yellow-shouldered parrots since the late 80s. We protect nests from poachers during the breeding season (between April and August), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We engage with local schools in environmental education and development of greenhouses to raise native trees for habitat restoration. We engage with land owners that run mining operations and assist them in ecological restoration of degraded lands. We organise a major parrot conservation festival every year that celebrates the breeding season’s success and engages schools and cultural organisations throughout the island. We are present on the mass media regularly, to share our work and encourage participation in the parrot festival and in habitat restoration campaigns. We also own 730 hectares of dry forests and have established the Characacual Community Conservation Area (CCCA), which we manage in collaboration with the EcoGuardians Cooperative (ex-poachers that now offer their professional services to field projects) and the people of the town El Horcón, the nearest settlement to CCCA.

Find out more about Provita

Discover more parrot and parakeet species on Arkive