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: Gannet

Nominated by: Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Conservation status: UK amber-listed bird of conservation concern

Why do you love it? We are lucky to have an internationally important seabird colony in Bempton Cliffs on our doorstep. Bempton with its 400 feet white chalk cliffs holds 250,000 seabirds and is the only mainland gannetry in England with 25,000 birds inhabiting the cliffs from mid-February to the end of October. To see these magnificent seabirds on a daily basis is just incredible.

The gannet is the UK’s largest seabird with a 2 metre wingspan, golden yellow head, blue eye ring and black tipped wings and can dive in to the sea up to speeds of 70mph to catch its prey. They are very caring and loving birds in which they pair for life and return to the same nest each year – incredible!

What are the threats to the gannet? Depleted fish stocks can affect the gannet’s food supply. Pollution such as marine rubbish can be collected to add to their nests and the young and adults can get entangled in rope, plastic bags, fishing tackle, etc. Offshore renewables such as large wind farms out at sea can cause gannet deaths if they fly high enough to reach the turbines.

What are you doing to save it? We provide tours to see and photograph these spectacular birds above and below the cliffs. We have worked with the RSPB at Bempton Cliffs to document the satellite tagging program to track gannets to see where they are provisioning for food and to look at possible Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to conserve the marine environment to help protect the gannet’s food source.

Find out more about the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s work with the gannet

Find out more about how plastic pollution is threatening the UK’s coastal gannet populations

Discover more gannet and booby species on Arkive