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: Large flying fox

Nominated by: Lubee Bat Conservancy

Conservation status: Near Threatened

Why do you love it? The large flying fox is the biggest bat in the world, with a wingspan reaching two metres! They are pollinating and seed dispersing superheroes, vital to the ecosystem and local agricultural communities. Lubee Bat Conservancy has been extremely fortunate to house this species since 1990, allowing us the opportunity to educate thousands of people every year on the importance of this unique, underappreciate and underloved species.  We currently house 70 individuals and welcomed 10 pups within the past year.  Large flying foxes are very personable, with each one having a distinct personality.  They enjoy interacting with each other, exploring their surroundings, and playing with the multitude of toys given to them every day.  Our bats even create paintings!!  We love large flying foxes for their uniqueness, environmental importance, and charismatic personalities!

What are the threats to the large flying fox? Overhunting, deforestation, persecution, lack of awareness and protection throughout much of their range.

What are you doing to save it? Lubee Bat Conservancy has funded numerous conservation and education projects on the Malayan flying fox including, but not limited to:

– Determining current and historical patterns of gene flow in the world’s largest bat, Pteropus vampyrus

– Research on the implications for conservation and human health (2005)

– Hunting and trade of large flying foxes in and around Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo (2006)

– Hunting and trade of Malayan flying foxes (Pteropus vampyrus natulus) in Barito region, central Kalimantan (2008, 2009)

– Partnership with Southeast Asia Bat Conservation Research Unit: Flying Fox Research (2012)

Each of these projects have focused on population monitoring, species assessment, bushmeat, community engagement, and human health.

Find out more about the Lubee Bat Conservancy

Discover more bat species on Arkive