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: Calamian deer

Nominated by: Phoenix Zoo

Conservation status: Endangered

Why do you love it? The Phoenix Zoo is one of only two facilities in the world managing captive individuals – and the only captive population not impacted by wasting disease. The zoo will be sending a research team to work with and train local organisations to survey and promote tourism around this rare species.

What are the threats to the Calamian deer? Although it is not especially glamorous – is has the smallest range of almost any species of its size, which makes it especially susceptible to habitat loss, massive storms (now frequent) and hunting pressure. Agricultural expansion within its small range and lack of legal protection are also believed to be responsible for the decline of this species. Most of the five islands where the species was last recorded on (in 2008) are small and almost certainly now devoid of deer. The Phoenix Zoo will be surveying these islands in April 2016 to confirm their current range and estimate the population size and distribution to inform an action plan to prevent its extinction.

What are you doing to save it? The Phoenix Zoo retains a captive population of the species, and in 2016 will be actively raising awareness, resources and conducting research and training in support of Calamian deer conservation. Numerous other threatened species overlap this deer’s range so it is also a flagship for other Calamian endemic species – since ecotourism is increasing in the region we see this as an opportunity to reverse the populations decline toward extinction.

Find out more about Phoenix Zoo’s conservation projects

Discover more deer species on Arkive