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!

Name of species: Winter skate

Nominated by: IKANAWTIKET Environmental Inc

Conservation status: Endangered

Why IKANAWTIKET love the winter skate: The winter skate with its cape like body tapering into a long tail is a member of the shark family of fish which have survived the cataclysmic geological events of the formation of new oceans and new continents.  When we consider the survivor odds then with the survivor odds of our world today, the conservation status of “Endangered” for the winter skate speaks to the pillage, plunder and devastating character of the animal “homo sapiens”. It is an example of the unique evolution of a still present prehistoric creation that has adapted to the shores of different continents and different oceans.  We love the winter skate because it takes time to mature and it takes time to lay twenty to fifty embryo within a special anchored “purse” where the embryo slowly forms to begin life on its own after evolving for twenty-two months within a protective purse.

Threats to the winter skate’s survival: Of the 58 known extinctions of fish worldwide, 13 have been extinctions of skates. In the Atlantic, the biggest threat to winter skates is dragging for clams and scallops and bottom trawling for groundfish. The sandy and gravelly areas where winter skate purses are attached are also the preferred areas for scallops and clams. Over 90% of all winter skate bycatch and discards are from dragging and bottom trawling gear. The fishing gear destroys winter skate purses and habitat.

Information on IKANAWTIKET’s work with the winter skate: We at IKANAWTIKET Environmental Inc. are constantly advocating for our species to open their eyes, turn their heads to hear, open their mouth and nose to take in the air, sights and sounds of life on Mother Earth.  We try to influence government agencies, non-government organisations and educational institutions to foremost accept the fact that we are a part of creation, that there is a price to pay for our trespass and transgression on the life of other creatures. We would like to see a ban on destructive fishing practices, legal protection and more awareness of the winter skate, especially when celebrating Oceans Day in June.

Find out more about IKANAWTIKET and their campaign to save the winter skate

Discover more true ray and skate species on Arkive

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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: Cownose ray

Nominated by: Shark Advocates International

Conservation status: The IUCN classifies the cownose ray as Near Threatened, and warns that the establishment of unregulated fisheries for this species “could be devastating.” A similar species found off Brazil has been seriously overfished and is now categorized as Endangered.

Why do you love it? The cownose ray is a true stand out in terms of high susceptibility to overfishing, inadequate protection, misperceptions, and potential to help related species. Without sound scientific basis, cownose rays have been used as scapegoats for all manner of ecological problems. For too long, people have been encouraged to hunt, eat, and deplete rather than appreciate and conserve this vulnerable species. On the other hand, few animals bring more joy to aquarium visitors than this seemingly smiley and friendly ray. At a time when rays are more threatened and less protected than sharks, the cownose ray could serve as an excellent and urgently needed ambassador for this remarkable group of fishes.

What are the threats to the cownose ray? Cownose rays are exceptionally susceptible to overexploitation largely because females produce very few young – usually just one pup per year after age seven. Among the most vulnerable of all sharks and rays, they are simply not biologically equipped to withstand heavy fishing. Despite this, cownose rays have long been persecuted based on a perception that they are a nuisance. In Central and South American parts of their range, there are few if any controls on the fisheries that take them. Even in the US, where catches of most sharks and rays are limited, cownose rays are completely unprotected in the face of increased recreational bow-hunting and commercial seafood marketing campaigns.

What are you doing to save it? Shark Advocates International has been working for several years to publicize the exceptional vulnerability of cownose rays, and elevate their conservation priority. We collaborate with leading scientists to promote research into the species’ biology and ecology, while actively urging fishery managers to set precautionary limits on catch and assess population status. Increased support from the public is critical to the conservation of this often-demonized species.

Find out more about Shark Advocates and their conservation work

Discover more ray and skate species on Arkive

 

VOTE NOW!

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: Southern damselfly

Nominated by: British Dragonfly Society

Conservation status: Near Threatened (global) Endangered (British Red List)

Why do you love it? The southern damselfly is a delicate little insect with an incredible life cycle. They start life as larvae, small green-brown creatures which live underwater. They are pretty underwhelming in the looks department, but they make up for this by being fierce hunters. The larvae have a modified lower lip which works like an arm, firing out at incredible speeds to grab unwitting prey. The southern damselfly is a true case of the Ugly Duckling.

The adult are beautiful – the males are a brilliant blue with black markings and the females are either blue or green with black markings. Along with other damselflies, the southern damselfly has a history steeped in myth and legend. An old name for damselflies was ‘devil’s darning needle’ with folklore dictating that if you slept on the banks of a stream, a damselfly would use its thin body to sew your eyelids shut! It is a magical, and sadly increasingly rare, sight to witness these beautiful insects flitting above sparkling waters on delicate wings.

What are the threats to the southern damselfly? The habitat type of the southern damselfly have been particularly hard hit in recent times, with habitat loss, water pollution and inappropriate habitat management causing population major declines. Although the species is found across south and west Europe and north Africa, it is either extinct or nearly extinct in seven European countries and declining in three.

What are you doing to save it? The British Dragonfly Society is working hard to recover the UK’s southern damselfly populations. Along with other NGO’s, statutory agencies, universities and dedicated individuals, we have worked to carry out habitat improvement work, population monitoring and re-introduction projects across the species’ British range. However, to secure the future of the southern damselfly in Britain, more people need to be aware of the needs of the species and manage the land accordingly. This is a species where a few simple changes to the habitat can achieve amazing results. The southern damselfly needs all our support if we are to make these changes happen.

Find out more about the British Dragonfly Society and their work with the southern damselfly

Discover more narrow-winged damselfly species on Arkive

VOTE NOW!

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: Harbour porpoise

Nominated by: Sea Watch Foundation

Conservation status: Least Concern

Why do you love it? We love it because more than any other, it is the one cetacean species most associated with the coasts of the British Isles. It is our smallest species, often taken for granted because it goes about its life in an undemonstrative, relatively retiring, manner and yet more than almost any other British sea mammal, it is vulnerable to a wide variety of threats posed by human activities in the seas around us.

What are the threats to the harbour porpoise? Although common and not threatened globally, in northern Europe it faces several major pressures from human activities. Large numbers suffer a terrible slow death every year, entangled in fishing nets; porpoises in Britain have been shown to have dangerously high levels of pollutants (PCBs in particular); and in many parts it experiences disturbance from water sports and other recreational activities.

What are you doing to save it? We monitor harbour porpoises around the British Isles to assess their status and identify conservation threats. In the 1980s we drew attention to widespread declines in the species in Europe and were actively involved in the establishment of Europe’s first international legislative agreement for the conservation of small cetaceans, ASCOBANS, under UNEP’s Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species. The particular vulnerability of this species being confined more or less to shelf seas has resulted in it receiving special focus from ASCOBANS, and led to it being placed in a special Annex under the EU Habitats & Species Directive that requires the establishment of a network of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs). However, Britain is the only northern European country with porpoises that has not formally proposed SACs despite the fact that we have some of the most significant population of the species. We have been campaigning for many years for the UK to fulfil those legal obligations, and at last this is up for debate with public consultations announced in January 2016.

Find out more about the work of the Sea Watch Foundation

Discover more porpoise species on Arkive

 

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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: Malagasy jumping rat

Nominated by: IUCN Small Mammal Specialist Group

Conservation status: Endangered

Why do you love it? Lemurs often steal the limelight when it comes to talking about wildlife in Madagascar, but there are a lot of other weird and wonderful animals there, including one from our Specialist Group- the giant jumping rat! This rabbit-like mammal has long pointed ears and elongated hindlegs and large hind feet that allow it to leap almost a metre into the air. It bears little resemblance to its better known rodent cousins, having been isolated on the island of Madagascar for much of its evolutionary history: indeed, it is ranked number 80 on the EDGE mammals list because of its quirkiness and Endangered status. Unusually for rodents, they form monogamous lifelong pair bonds….what could be more romantic for St. Valentine’s Day?

What are the threats to the jumping rat?Unlike most rodents, this species has a slow pace of life, with females having just one or two offspring per year. This extremely low reproductive rate means that it is not able to recover quickly if affected by threats. It is particularly vulnerable to predation by dogs, and to habitat loss and fragmentation caused by logging activity, slash-and-burn agriculture, and charcoal production that is occurring throughout its range. There are currently two subpopulations which are confined to small forest fragments on the west coast of Madagascar.

What are you doing to save it? The key role of the Small Mammal SG for this species is to undertake the Red List reassessment. We are looking for research which has taken place since 2008, which was the last time it was assessed and listed as Endangered. In addition to this information gathering we are contacting experts on the giant jumping rat in Madagascar and internationally to assist us with deciding on the most appropriate Red List category and criteria.

Conservation actions on the ground include using sustainable forestry techniques to enable the species’ survival in the Kirindy Forest, a government-owned forest concession. Research into the behavioural ecology of this species has been carried out for a number of years at the research station of the German Primate Centre in the Kirindy Forest. The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (DWCT) is working with the local Malagasy to conduct detailed surveys into the status and threats facing the wild population. It is also involved in a community education programme which aims to raise awareness of conserving the species’ forest habitat, and is working to get a part of the species’ remaining habitat declared an official protected reserve. In 1990, DWCT established a captive breeding programme which has proved successful. The coordinated international efforts of DWCT plus 16 other institutions has resulted in an established ‘safety net’ population.

Find out more about the work of the Small Mammal SG

Discover more rodent species on Arkive

 

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