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: Spectacled bear

Nominated by: World Land Trust

Conservation status: Vulnerable

Why do you love it? Spectacled bears are often overlooked in favour of more well-known members of the bear family such as giant pandas, polar bears or grizzly bears. South America’s only species of bear, spectacled bears are an integral part of the ecosystems in which they inhabit, ranging widely and dispersing seeds as they go. The spectacled bear is also the species on which the famous children’s book character Paddington Bear is based.

What are the threats to the spectacled bear? Fragmentation and loss of habitat due to agricultural expansion are the main threats facing the spectacled bear.  As forests are felled, populations become isolated which contributes to a lack of genetic diversity.

Poaching is another major threat. Bears are often being killed after damaging crops or targeted for products which in some regions are used for traditional medicine or ritual.

What are you doing to save it? Also known as the Andean Bear, the species is found throughout the Tropical Andes.  WLT supports a number of projects in Ecuador, Colombia and Peru to better protect the forest and páramo grasslands where the Spectacled Bear is found.

The Spectacled Bear is one of the key species benefiting from WLT’s Forests in the Sky Appeal. A project launched by WLT in September 2015 aims to purchase and protect a cluster of properties between the national parks of Llanganates and Sangay on the Eastern Andes in central Ecuador.

Find out more about the World Land Trust and the spectacled bear

Discover more bear species on Arkive



  • Christina (February 2nd, 2016 at 4:41 pm):

    Please look after this bear!