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: Smalltooth sawfish

Nominated by: Sharks4Kids

Conservation status: Critically Endangered

Why do you love it? The smalltooth sawfish is a perfect ambassador for the diverse, weird and wonderful world of elasmobranchs. The sawfish is a remarkable creature and we’ve been fortunate enough to see a couple in the wild. Most students know about tiger sharks and great whites, but we want their knowledge, curiosity and compassion to spread beyond the celebrity sharks.

What are the threats to the smalltooth sawfish? Their range and population has been drastically reduced over the last century due to fishing. Once a targeted species, they are now mostly caught as bycatch. Because of the teeth on their rostrum, they are easily caught in nets, including gill nets and trawling equipment. Habitat loss has also had an impact, with development removing critical mangrove and estuary areas.

What are you doing to save it? Our main focus is to teach students all around the world about elasmobranchs, the threats they face and how people can help. We do a lot of work with students in Florida and The Bahamas, so the smalltooth sawfish is a very relevant species to discuss. We have created posters and information sheets for kids and teachers to have in the classroom, as well as collaborating with other organisations like Shark Advocates International to promote better global protection of the 5 species of sawfish, all listed as Critically Endangered. We have also done blog interviews with researchers studying these animals, as a way of sharing even more information about these incredible creatures.

Find out more about Sharks4Kids and their conservation work

Discover more ray and skate species on Arkive



  • Doris Davis (February 8th, 2016 at 12:15 am):

    My favorite is an my vote is for Tapir de Montaña from Peru.

  • Doris Davis (February 8th, 2016 at 12:16 am):

    My vote is TAPIR DE MONTAÑA

  • Sri Lankan Leopard (February 17th, 2016 at 12:37 am):

    This species may be an uncommon species but, comeon let’s give them some credit!!! Let’s all donate and give these animals a chance. As an 11 year old my main goal in life for what’s now been years is to become a zoologist and to research this species. To others vote for your unloved species.