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: Mountain tapir

Nominated by: WWF Peru

Conservation status: Endangered

Why do you love it? The mountain tapir is characterised by its dense black fur and white lips. When it is at a young age, the mountain tapir has some particular white lines on its body, giving them a cheerful appearance. However, these lines disappear when adult. It is a species that requires our entire attention, considering that there are less than 2,500 adult individuals. It is estimated thar the mountain tapir population will decline by over 50 percent in the next 3 generations (33 years).  It lives in the Andean region of Colombia, Ecuador and northern Peru, and is locally extinct in much of its original range of distribution. This species lives in the chaparral, the Andean forest, the paramo and the river grasslands and at elevations above 1,400 meters.

What are the threats to the mountain tapir? Years ago, the hunting pressure was the main threat for the mountain tapir and now it’s slow rate of reproduction and its solitary nature makes it vulnerable to habitat destruction. On the other hand, the mountain tapir has to deal with the conversion of forests and moorlands into agricultural and grazing lands.

What are you doing to save it? At WWF Peru, we work to support the National Service of Protected Areas by the State – SERNANP, and particularly, the Headquarters of the Tabaconas Namballe National Sanctuary, in order to generate further information for the conservation of endangered species, such as the mountain tapir (purpose of creating this Sanctuary), the spectacled bear, the dwarf deer and the Andean coati.

Based on the information obtained, we will know more about the habitat preferences of these species and can also identify the conservation actions that are required in the Sanctuary, such as monitoring, finding areas with large populations, amongst other actions with aims to protect them in the long-term. We must always remember that these species habitats are greatly impacted by climate change.

Find out more about WWF Peru’s conservation projects

Explore the profiles of other tapir species on Arkive



  • Pia (February 2nd, 2016 at 10:40 am):

    Every animal on the list should have a vote, but I have a soft spot for tapirs

  • olga rivera quispe (February 3rd, 2016 at 3:12 pm):

    por supuesto que doy mi voto a favor de este animalito de nuestra selva peruana

  • Danixa (February 3rd, 2016 at 7:35 pm):

    A protegerlo!!!!

  • Sara Andrade (February 4th, 2016 at 2:02 am):

    Cuidemos lo poco que nos queda del tapir de montaña.