They used to rule the roost and the skies in North America, with even bigger species of Gymnogyps flying until recently. Now the Californian condors are finding it difficult to eke an existence while they are being poisoned by lead from bullets fired by ranchers, poachers and hunters.
How long before we join up the dots and realise that invertebrates, well-known species and the forests and savannah themselves are all going away from us? It's not only the rhino and the elephant that are suffering badly. The same poachers are also causing African catastrophes in many other locations. Help is needed from all of us.
Why not rediscover your enthusiasm for every animal on earth? While we concentrate on wildlife, the love of life easily stretches to farm animals, our pets and, of course, the mistreatment that some creatures, both domestic and wild and free, suffer from human interference.
When conservation issues are discussed, it's usually the tiger that gets the most attention. This is not helping the conservation of most sub-species, as aspects of its criminal poaching cause further decline.
Forest Elephant numbers have fallen by 62% in just over a decade, mainly due to increased poaching, driven by the demand and rising price of ivory. 30% of the forest elephants' range has also been lost in the same period.
The established practice of Asian-inspired poaching of African and other elephants has had a terrible impact on populations everywhere.
After years of depredations ranging from their use for bushmeat to dwindling population and disease, African apes are now in greater danger than ever, this time from habitat loss.
The rhino is one of the most endangered animals in the world. Poachers using sophisticated methods kill enormous numbers for their horns, which are thought by Chinese medicine advocates to have medicinal properties. This has been proved to be untrue and since it is impossible to stop the poachers, the only hope for the rhino is to persuade users of rhino horn that using it for medical treatment is a futile exercise.
Banning the lion trade, stopping lion poachers and trophy hunters. Lions have always been victims to poaching and game hunting for egotistical humans who can only affirm their value by boasting trophy killings as a display of their dominion over all other animals.
Yesterday Gabon became the first nation in Central Africa to destroy all its ivory stockpiles, in a dramatic bonfire of seized ivory pieces. With the illegal trade in ivory decimating elephant numbers across Central Africa, Gabon's action is hoped to be the first step in a regional plan to halt the poachers and traders in their tracks.
International Animal Rescue help suffering animals such as slow lorises. The slow loris is a species affected by the illegal pet trade, poachers catch them and remove their poisonous teeth. Marta and Willis were the first attempt by IAR to rehabilitate slow lorises and return them back to the wild.
The WWF today has called for action to bring the killers of up to 350 Savanna elephants, in Cameroon last month, to justice. It also wants to see cooperation between Sudan, Chad and Cameroon to stop the poachers, who have been driven to new heights of elephant slaughter by the demand for ivory from China and Thailand.
Some of India's sloth bears or black bears captured in forests by poachers are sold to Kalandars, a community who earn their living dancing bears.
Conservation volunteers have cleared 162 illegal wire snare traps left by poachers in northeast China, which are a danger to rare Amur tigers.
The last twelve months have seen a worrying descent in the fortunes of the magnificent-but-endangered rhino. Poaching, to satisfy patently-false claims of medicinal benefits has killed a record number of rhinos - and led to the extinction of two species of rhino. With more extreme measure being called for to deal with the escalating crisis, will 2012 see a turning point in the rhino's prospects?
Figures from the South African National Parks show an increase in rhino poaching compared to last year. Despite global events such as World Rhino Day, designed to raise awareness of the plight of rhinos and the market for rhino horn, the trade in rhino horns has not decreased.
With World Rhino Day 2011 just around the corner (Thu 22nd Sep), and the future of the rhino under greater threat than for many years, a radical response has been required to the poaching menace - removing rhinos' horns. The work of de-horning at a conservation ranch in Zimbabwe is demanding, but is helping to stem losses, say conservation staff. Ultimately, though they see hope only when horn is no longer considered a medicine by the misled.
Action on rhino poaching in South Africa is putting more criminals behind bars for longer, but to protect these threatened animals, WWF says Asian governments need to act to cut demand too.
Forest elephants survey in the Cote d'Ivoire. Forest elephants in Cote d'Ivoire are still under threat from poaching despite a worldwide ban on the sale of ivory, a new WWF study has revealed. Researchers initially set out to determine the numbers of forest elephants in Cote dIvoire's Tai National Park.
Conservation groups have announced World Rhino Day 2011, for the 22nd September - with the aim of bigging up some noise, across the globe, for these endangered giants of the savanna. After a terrible 2010, with poaching rampant, the need to both halt the poaching gangs, and to kick rhino-horn out of the 'traditional medicine' cabinet has never been more urgent.
With the bushmeat trade growing annually, experts recognise that innovative solutions are required to halt this illegal activity. Commercial trading in bushmeat - the meat and other parts of wild mammals, birds and reptiles - is a highly lucrative industry, particularly prevalent in central Africa. Bushmeat trading is on the rise within many central African countries
As seas warm the northern abalone - a noted delicacy and important to coastal economies in north America - is likely to suffer further losses to add to the damage done by overfishing and poaching. The northern abalone lives along the North American west coast from Baja California to Alaska and is prized as a delicacy
A new report by TRAFFIC finds that that the illegal trade of bears in Asia is continuing unabated. The poaching of bears in Asia is driven mainly by the increasing demand for their bile. Bear bile is used as a key ingredient in many traditional medicines, sold commonly as pills, powders and flakes.
We are all becoming more aware of the need to consider the environment in our everyday lives, and this includes our family pets. In recent years there has been a surge in the number of eco-friendly products dedicated to helping people 'green' the lives of their dogs, cats, birds and a whole host of other pets.
Kazakhstan government announces programme to reintroduce tigers. In an unexpected announcement, WWF-Russia and the Kazakhstan government have initiated a programme to reintroduce tigers to Central Asia. The Kazakhstan government has taken steps to deal with poaching and habitat loss, the two biggest threats to the tiger reintroduction programme.
Well-equipped, sophisticated organized crime syndicates have killed more than 800 African rhinos in the past three years - just for their horns. Populations of African rhinos had been rising over the past few decades, with the population of Critically Endangered black rhino increasing to 4,840 in the most recent estimate, up from 4,240 in 2007.
The trade in exotic pets is rising dramatically. So is the number of abandoned, escaped, and released exotic pets causing worldwide problems. Informing the public about the dangers and problems surrounding exotic pets is urgently necessary, according to EcoHealth Alliance.
The critically endangered Siberian tiger has an effective population of just 14 animals - that's the worrying conclusion of a recent study into these stunning cats. The Siberian tiger, also known as the Amur tiger, is the world's largest cat. Previously it ranged far across northern China, Korea and south eastern Russia. In the early 20th Century the Siberian tiger was driven close to extinction through poaching and habitat loss and was wiped out from 90% of its once large range.
A real conservation success story, a new elephant census in Kenya's Tsavo ecosystem shows numbers increasing despite ivory poaching and a prolonged drought in the area. The Earth Times spoke to Patrick Omondi, senior assistant director of Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), who co-ordinated the elephant census, which is held every three years.
Bushmeat taken from one of the most threatened forests in the world is placing significant pressure on the Udzungwa forest species and ecosystems. In Tanzania, international and local environmentalists have just released a new report which confirms that bushmeat hunting alongside destruction of the forests is a major threat to this unique environment.
Domestic cats show symptoms of illness when routine is disturbed. For thousands of years people all over the world have kept cats as household pets. The earliest known example comes from a grave that was discovered in Cyprus in 2004. It and contains two skeletons laid closely together, one of a human and the other of a cat and is believed to be 9,500 years old.
In a bold move, the Senate of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands has voted to prohibit all shark finning in its waters. Sharks living in the ocean around the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) have suffered from intense overfishing and poaching for their valuable fins. Sharks in particular are vulnerable to illegal fishing because, as a species, they reproduce very slowly.
Make your pets a little greener - for their health and yours. You can begin composting, remember to recycle your used items, buy locally produced organic foods, and try to walk more than you use the car. But don't forget that greening your pets is also quite possible and not too difficult to achieve.
A new tool could help wildlife crime officers worldwide to trace the origin of illegally traded elephant ivory. German scientists, in cooperation with WWF are building a database that will pinpoint the specific origin of illegal ivory.
Observing ever increasing illegal activities and environmental crimes in the Galapagos has prompted the Sea Shepherd to push for a new approach to protecting the Islands' outstanding environment.