The Californian Condor is disappearing.

california-condor-1198148_92778_600x450Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Creative
Critically Endangered.
The largest flying bird in North America, the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) has a wingspan of nearly ten feet.
A captive-breeding program is slowly restoring the species, its numbers reduced to a few dozen by egg poaching and poisons in the 1970s.
Photographed at Phoenix Zoo, Arizona.
The National Geographic Photo Ark is a multi-year effort with photographer Joel Sartore to photograph all captive species and save these animals before many disappear.
See more images via A Flight of Birds: Photo Ark Gallery — National Geographic Animals

Rescued Gorilla and friend move to New Sanctuary.

A gorilla in the hands of her carer as they drive to a new and larger sanctuary run for the care of orphaned or captive apes rescued by Ape Action Africa in Cameroon.
Image Credit: Photograph by Jo-Anne McArthur/Photographers Against Wildlife Crime.
Source: Photographers against wildlife crime – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian

The Ultimate Loner, Africa.

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Leopards are graceful and powerful big cats closely related to lions, tigers, and jaguars. They live in sub-Saharan Africa, northeast Africa, Central Asia, India, and China.
However, many of their populations are endangered, especially outside of Africa.
The leopard is so strong and comfortable in trees that it often hauls its kills into the branches. By dragging the bodies of large animals aloft it hopes to keep them safe from scavengers such as hyenas.
Leopards can also hunt from trees, where their spotted coats allow them to blend with the leaves until they spring with a deadly pounce. These nocturnal predators also stalk antelope, deer, and pigs by stealthy movements in the tall grass.
When human settlements are present, leopards often attack dogs and, occasionally, people.
Leopards are strong swimmers and very much at home in the water, where they sometimes eat fish or crabs.
Female leopards can give birth at any time of the year. They usually have two grayish cubs with barely visible spots.
The mother hides her cubs and moves them from one safe location to the next until they are old enough to begin playing and learning to hunt. Cubs live with their mothers for about two years—otherwise, leopards are solitary animals.
Most leopards are light colored with distinctive dark spots that are called rosettes, because they resemble the shape of a rose.
Black leopards, which appear to be almost solid in color because their spots are hard to distinguish, are commonly called black panthers.
via Leopards, Leopard Pictures, Leopard Facts – National Geographic.

The Bengal Tiger of Asia.

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Photograph by Steve Winter
Scientists estimate only about 3,000 wild tigers are left in the entire world.
Tiger territory once stretched from Turkey to the Russian Far East and just a century ago, before the terrible toll of hunting and habitat destruction, 100,000 tigers inhabited the wilds of Asia.
Now their descendants hang on in a tiny fraction of their former range, prowling fragmented pockets of habitat where keeping enough tigers alive to breed is increasingly difficult.
Three of the nine tiger subspecies (Bali, Javan, and Caspian tigers) became extinct during the 20th century, leaving only the half dozen living species featured in this gallery.
Recent studies show in just three tiger generations (21 to 27 years) the big cats’ population has shrunk by 50 percent and their range has also been halved.
Shrinking space and rampant poaching for traditional Chinese medicine present a formidable challenge to the future of wild tigers.
About half of all living tigers are Bengal tigers (pictured here), sometimes called Indian tigers because most live in that nation.
Others are in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, China, and Myanmar. Given space and prey Panthera tigris tigris can thrive in many types of forests or grasslands, and the Bengal is the only subspecies that also inhabits mangrove forests, in the Sundarbans island group in the Bay of Bengal.
via Tiger Subspecies Pictures — National Geographic Animals.

Tasmanian Devils listed as ‘vulnerable.’

tasmanian-devil_736_600x450Tasmanian Devils are solitary and nocturnal, spending their days alone in hollow logs, caves, or burrows, and emerging at night to feed.
They use their long whiskers and excellent sense of smell and sight to avoid predators and locate prey and carrion.
They’ll eat pretty much anything they can get their teeth on, and when they do find food, they are voracious, consuming everything—including hair, organs, and bones.
Mothers give birth after about three weeks of pregnancy to 20 or 30 very tiny young. These raisin-size babies crawl up the mother’s fur and into her pouch. However, the mother has only four nipples, so only a handful of babies survive. Infants emerge after about four months and are generally weaned by the sixth month and on their own by the eighth.
Once abundant throughout Australia Tasmanian devils are now indigenous only to the island state of Tasmania.
Their Tasmanian range encompasses the entire island, although they are partial to coastal scrublands and forests. Biologists speculate that their extinction on the mainland is attributable to the introduction of Asian dogs, or dingoes.
Efforts in the late 1800s to eradicate Tasmanian devils, which farmers erroneously believed were killing livestock (although they were known to take poultry), were nearly successful.
In 1941, the government made devils a protected species, and their numbers have grown steadily since.
Survival Threatened
Tragically, though, a catastrophic illness discovered in the mid-1990s has killed tens of thousands of Tasmanian devils.
Called devil facial tumor disease (DFTD), this rapidly spreading condition is a rare contagious cancer that causes large lumps to form around the animal’s mouth and head, making it hard for it to eat.
The animal eventually starves to death. Animal health experts are sequestering populations where the disease has not yet appeared and are focusing on captive breeding programs to save the species from extinction.
Because of the outbreak, the Australian government has listed Tasmanian devils as vulnerable.
via  National Geographic.

Black Panther seen in Kenya – first sighting in many years.

This black leopard’s photo is among the first verified sightings of a black panther in a very long time. Image Credit: Photograph by Will Burrard-Lucas)
Big cats can be elusive in general, but few are more elusive than the black panther.
This creature has proven to be so elusive that confirmed scientific documentation of the animal’s presence in Africa hasn’t been achieved in nearly 100 years.
That was until recently, when a team of researchers and a wildlife photographer snapped photographic proof of a black panther in Kenya’s Laikipia Wilderness Camp following reports of a black panther being spotted in the area.
Black panther is an umbrella term for leopards or jaguars that exhibit a melanistic color variation.
This variation creates their black fur. Their spots can still be visible if you’re close enough, or the sunlight hits them in just the right way.What the team spotted in Kenya was a black leopard.
Rumours have circulated for decades about the presence of black leopards in Africa, but evidence was always lacking.
Indeed, according to National Geographic, the only confirmed sighting is a 1909 photograph unearthed in 2017.
Source: Black panther spotted in Kenya is first sighting in almost a century | MNN – Mother Nature Network