An incredible set of photographs highlighting the plight of endangered animals around the world captured the adorable moment a chimpanzee clutched her son and kissed his tiny hand.
Acclaimed photographer Tim Flach spent years tracking the animals and documenting the movements of the world’s most threatened species.
He managed to snap an array of animals including snow leopards, pied tamarin, polar bears, Philippine eagles and hippopotamus on his travels across some of the planets most hostile natural environments.
The photographs were documented in a book called Endangered, which discusses primates coping with habitat loss, big cats and their losing battle with human settlements, elephants hunted for their ivory, and numerous bird species taken as pets.
Ruma and Vali – mother and son. In their habitat in the forests of central Africa, chimpanzees spend most of their days in the tree tops. Their status in endangered with 172,700 to 299,700 believed to be in the wild. They are hunted for their meat, which is seen as a delicacy for the wealthy in Central Africa, and the young are also taken from their mothers and sold as pets. Away from human threat, diseases like Ebola wiping out populations
The hippopotamus, also known as the ‘river horse’, lives along the rivers and lakes throughout sub-Saharan Africa. There are 125,000 to 150,000 remaining in the wild threatened by hunting for their meat, fat and ivory tusks. As human populations grow, they encroach on wildlife habitats which further threatens the hippo, a species listed as vulnerable
Snow leopards are sparsely distributed across 12 countries in central Asia, from southern Russia down to the Tibetan plateau, including Mongolia, China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal, but poaching and climate change are now threatening its survival. Despite there only being between 4,080 and 6,590 in the wild, their status is only described as
The Yunan snub-nosed monkey, left, lives in China. Numbers of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys have declined principally in response to habitat loss and hunting pressure meaning there are now fewer than 2,000 remaining in the wild. A distinctive bulbous nose makes the saiga, right, an unlikely pin-up for the conservation movement. Habitat loss and illegal hunting have dramatically cut population numbers to an estimated 50,000
One of the oldest families of bony fish in existence, they are native to subtropical, temperate and sub-Arctic rivers, lakes and coastlines of Eurasia and North America. They are threatened by hunters harvesting their eggs
The Philippine eagle is among the rarest and most powerful birds in the world. It has been declared the Philippine national bird. It is critically endangered, mainly due to massive loss of habitat resulting from deforestation in most of its range. It features in the book Endangered by Tim Flach and text by Jonathan Baillie (Abrams, £50)
These are the eggs of the yellow-eyed tree frog. Many scientists believe the frog developed its vivid peepers to shock predators into at least briefly questioning their meal choice. As a result, they are not on the endangered list
Polar bears are classified as marine mammals because they spend most of their lives on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean. Because of ongoing and potential loss of their sea ice habitat resulting from climate change, polar bears were listed as a threatened species in the US under the Endangered Species Act in May 2008. Today, there are between 22,000 and 31,000 in the wild and the species’ status is vulnerable. (Source: WWF)