The most endangered species on the plant up close | Nature | News

These remarkable portraits of rare and endangered European creatures have been released today to highlight the threats they face in a changing world.

Some of the world’s greatest wildlife photographers have come together to give a remarkably candid view of our most cherished and elusive birds and mammals at ease in their remote haunts.

Birds such as the puffin, kingfisher, common eider and little bustard all face challenges in the 20st Century.

Although easily recognisable, the Atlantic puffin was recently listed as “vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation’s Red List. 

Mass population declines, particularly because of the loss of the small fish it eats through climate change as well as pollution and predation by rats, leave it facing an uncertain future.

European bison now number as few as 3,200 individuals, living in small pockets of ancient forest and rely on committed conservation to survive.

Little bustards, a bird of open steppe country renown for their raspberry mating calls, have witnessed a near 50 per cent decline in their European population over the past three decades.

While the wolverine has yet to be removed from the IUCN “least concern” category, the elusive predator has also witnessed a sharp drop in numbers across its northern forest range over the same time span.

It was to illustrate how these remarkable creatures can be admired without disturbance that leading camera makers Sony released this gallery of portraits.

They were taken by Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 and 2016 Sam Hobson, award-winning Finnish wildlife photographer Lassi Rautiainen, Spanish nature photographer Javier Alonso Huerta, Swiss wildlife photographer Markus P. Stähli and nature photographer Gustav Kiburg today.

Each photographer used the Sony RX10 III camera which has a silent shutter and super-telephoto zoom.

Sony say the release of its “rare collection” is part of it ongoing commitment to support wildlife protection, particularly its…

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