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: Stag beetle

Conservation organisation: People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES)

Conservation status: UK BAP Priority Species (we are at the edge of the range and are a stronghold for the beetle), IUCN Near Threatened. Unfavourable status in many European countries.

Why do you love it? The stag beetle is such a striking creature with its distinctive antler-like jaws. It is the largest terrestrial beetle in the UK and has an amazing life cycle. It spends years underground as a larva feeding on dead wood and then emerges for only a few weeks during the summer to reproduce. It is then we see them (most often the males) on warm summer evenings; flying through our parks and gardens, fighting with rivals and looking for a mate. They perform an important role by helping to break down dead wood and returning nutrients into the soil.

What are the threats to the stag beetle? Habitat loss and fragmentation. Stag beetles are reliant on dead wood for such a long period of their life cycle that the impacts of tidy gardens, parks and woodlands have been devastating. Although they only live for a few weeks as an adult, in the short time that they live above ground they are at risk from humans, cars, cats, magpies and other predators.

What are you doing to save it? PTES collects your stag beetle records every year and gives advice on how best to help them in gardens and green spaces. We have funded long-term research into their biology and behaviour and are working with European partners to improve our knowledge about their conservation status.

Find out more about PTES and their work with the stag beetle

Discover more stag beetle species on Arkive