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: Hawaiian monk seal

Nominated by: Marine Conservation Institute

Conservation status: Endangered

Why do you love it? With just 900 to 1,100 individuals remaining, the Hawaiian monk seal is one of the world’s most endangered seals and is the only pinniped that lives exclusively within United States’ waters. The Hawaiian monk seal is endemic to the islands and was declared Hawaii’s official marine mammal due to its rarity, as well as its cultural and natural significance to Hawaiian history.

What are the threats to the Hawaiian monk seal? Hawaiian monk seals face many threats, however the most significant result from direct interactions with humans. This can occur by way of entanglement in marine debris, accidental injury resulting from interactions with fishing gear or harassment from ocean and beach users.

What are you doing to save it? Recognising the plight of the Hawaiian monk seal lead to our Comprehensive Report on Recovery of the Hawaiian monk seal which outlined the current status of the animals and provided recommendations to NOAA (the organisation responsible for their conservation and recovery) to further enhance the seal’s conservation. Marine Conservation Institute’s advocacy efforts and report contributed, in part, to expansion of Hawaiian monk seal critical habitat in 2015.

Find out more about the Marine Conservation Institute’s work with the Hawaiian monk seal

Discover other true seal species on Arkive