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: Magellanic plover

Nominated by: Wader Quest

Conservation status: Near Threatened

Why do you love it? The Magellanic plover is a beautiful and subtle bird which is unique among waders. The mysteries surrounding this enigmatic bird are enticing and the fact that it lives in one of the remotest areas of the world just add to its appeal.

What are the threats to the Magellanic plover: Very little is known about the bird and there isn’t an accurate estimate of its population size. This has never been a common bird but there is a perception among local people who live in this species’ range (Chile and Argentina) that it is rarer now than it has been at any time in the past. Until we are able to show that there is a downward trend in the population we cannot realistically look into the causes and therefore it follows that we can do nothing to halt or turn around any decline that may be happening.

What are you doing to save it? Wader Quest is working with local scientists who have started ringing and flagging Magellanic Plovers so that individual birds can be identified. The purpose of this is to find out if the birds are site faithful, their longevity and also calculate survival rates. From this data it may be possible to assess the population size and in time once that is established see if there is a trend. Should the trend be downward, then the reasons for that decline will be researched and once the problem has been isolated we may be in a position to do something about it. In the meantime we are also attempting to fit Geolocators to birds to see how far they move outside the breeding season and also maybe get a rough idea of where they go. In that way we will be able to see where any conservation or species management is needed should it prove to be necessary.

Find out more about Wader Quest’s Magellanic plover project

Discover more lapwing and plover species on Arkive