A selection of portraits from Photo Ark, a project to document the world's animals before they disappear. (Full story: http://on.natgeo.com/28OBpaQ)
  1. Red Wolf
    Status: Critically Endangered Red wolves ("Canis rufus") were declared extinct in the wild in 1980. Seven years later, the federal government began releasing captive-bred animals in eastern North Carolina, and today an estimated 75 to 100 roam the region. Some landowners, concerned about wolf predation, are protesting the restoration. Photographed at Great Plains Zoo, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. (Photo by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Creative)
  2. Coyote
    Status: Least Concern The coyote ("Canis latrans") forms strong family groups, both parents feeding their litters. Its population may be at an all-time high, as it’ll eat almost anything: rabbits and rats, fish and frogs, snakes and insects, and deer and livestock throughout North America. Photographed at Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, Louisville, Nebraska. (Photo by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Creative)
  3. Clouded Leopard
    Status: Vulnerable The clouded leopard ("Neofelis nebulosa") rests and hunts in the trees of southeast Asian tropical forests. Its cloud-shaped markings are an unmistakable signature. Its numbers are greatly threatened by illegal trade and a fast rate of deforestation. Photographed with Joel Sartore at Columbus Zoo, Powell, Ohio. (Photo by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Creative)
  4. Arctic Fox
    Status: Least Concern Just as the white coat of the arctic fox ("Vulpes lagopus") camouflages it in tundra snow, its coat changes to brown or gray during summer to offer better cover among rocks and plants. The fox can survive temperatures as low as minus 58ºF. Photographed at Great Bend Brit-Spaugh Zoo, Great Bend, Kansas. (Photo by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Creative)
  5. African Leopard
    Status: Near Threatened The African leopard ("Panthera pardus pardus") often hauls its kill into trees to keep it away from hyenas and other scavengers. The big cat also hunts from trees, its spots camouflaging the leopard before it pounces. It’s a strong swimmer and sometimes eats fish and crabs. Photographed at Houston Zoo, Texas. (Photo by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Creative)
  6. Florida Panther
    Status: Endangered One of 20 subspecies of pumas, the Florida panther ("Puma concolor coryi") is the most endangered mammal in the eastern United States. A lone wild population of perhaps 100 to 160 remains in southern Florida, much of its swampland habitat succumbing to real estate development. Photographed at Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Creative)
  7. Mexican Gray Wolf
    Status: Least Concern Human settlement across the southwestern United States in the 1900s put huge pressure on the Mexican gray wolf ("Canis lupus baileyi"). Government and private extermination pushed it to near extinction by the 1970s. Today, captive breeding programs are restoring the species. Photographed at the Endangered Wolf Center, Eureka, Missouri. (Photo by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Creative)
  8. Malayan Tiger
    Status: Critically Endangered The critically endangered Malayan tiger ("Panthera tigris ssp. jacksoni") is among the remaining half dozen subspecies of tigers, largest of all wild cats. Three already have gone extinct. About 3,200 tigers are left in the wild; fewer than 250 are Malayans. Photographed at Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Creative)