Some species of mammals are clearly confronted with the immediate risk of extinction. And, when I shoot photos of some of these at the other end of the world, I am often shocked by the immense chance I have to be able to still see these animals free in the wild for the years they have left.
For example, cheetahs were submitted to a major event of reduction in genetics diversity during the last Ice Age (less than 10,000 animals fought for survival during thousands of years). Today, the enormous competition pressure brought by Man and “its civilization”, on top of the stark competition from other carnivorous mammals (like hyenas), will most certainly bring cheetah out of the African savannas in a few years (maybe less than 20 years).
Tigers are also in a nearly desperate situation today: The last wild animals are already living in relatively small Reserves where, even free in the wild, they have become tourism subjects without being fully protected from poaching or illegal culling.
This is the context when Frédéric Lepage created a series of TV documentaries about a few emblematic species (cheetah, orangutan, tiger, elephant, jaguar, polar bear): Extinctions
I strongly recommend your being in front of the TV (France 5, French TV channel), to watch the episode for Tiger, on Friday 6 August 2010 at 20h30.