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The week in wildlife – in pictures

A leopard spotted in the Sujan Jawai Leopard Camp, Rajasthan, India.
A leopard spotted in the Sujan Jawai Leopard Camp, Rajasthan, India.
A leopard spotted in the Sujan Jawai Leopard Camp, Rajasthan, India. The agile cats are ambush hunters who rely on their mottled fur to blend in with their surroundings as they creep up on prey. Photograph: Adam Bannister/Barcroft Media
Hundreds of adult wood storks gather on the tops of trees at the the Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge during a tour by U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in Townsend, Ga., Thursday, June 26, 2014. Jewell announced Thursday that the federal government is upgrading the wood stork to a
Wood storks rest on treetops at the the Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Townsend, Georgia, US. Photograph: Stephen B. Morton/AP
A lotus flower is in blossom in the West Lake scenic area in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province
A lotus flower in bloom in West Lake, Hangzhou, capital of east China’s Zhejiang province. Photograph: Li Zhong/Corbis
Spotted flycatcher feeding young at it's nest built into the wall of a stone built stable, near Corwen, North Wales
A spotted flycatcher feeds its young in a nest built into a stone wall of a stable, near Corwen, Wales, UK. The young are fed over 30 times in 45 minutes. Photographer Richard Bowler wedged a piece of wood underneath the sloping stone to prevent the nest from falling on the ground. Photograph: Richard Bowler/Rex Features
A monkey climbs a tree at
A black-tufted marmoset monkey (Callithrix penicillata) climbs a tree at ‘Cidade do Galo’, where Argentina’s national football team has its base camp in Vespasiano, near Belo Horizonte. Photograph: Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images
A bee drones among the lavender fields in Huocheng County of Kazak Autonomous Prefecture of Ili, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, June 20, 2014. Over 30,000 mu (2,000 hectares) of lavender bloomed in the valley of the Ili River from June to August every year.
A bee sits on lavender flowers in a field in Huocheng, Kazak, in the valley of Ili River, northwest China. Bees are vital to habitats but insecticides used in commercial farming could wipe them out, threatening the world’s food supplies. Photograph: Zhao Ge/Corbis
In this Monday, May 26, 2014 photo, 7-year-old male Asiatic Cheetah, named 'Koushki,' crouches at the Miandasht Wildlife Refuge in Jajarm, northeastern Iran. Iran is conducting a campaign to rescue the Asiatic Cheetah which has disappeared across south and central asia except fewer than 100 remaining in Iran.
Koushki, an Asiatic cheetah, crouches at the Miandasht Wildlife Refuge in Jajarm, northeastern Iran. The country is conducting a campaign to rescue the Asiatic Cheetah which has disappeared from the continent except in Iran, where fewer than 100 remain. Photograph: Vahid Salemi/AP
A picture made available on 18 June 2014 shows world heritage forest in Mt Field National Park, Tasmania, Australia, 21 May 2014. The Australian government is trying to have 74,000 hectares of declared World Heritage forest area revoked to allow logging, a historical move to overturn a decision of the World Heritage Committee. The World Heritage Committee will make their final decision on the proposed delisting of the world heritage area at the 38th Session of the Committee in Doha, Qatar, that runs until June 25. The decision if approved would allow logging in ancient forest areas like the Upper Florentine, Styx and Weld Valleys. The move has prompted demonstrations in Tasmania.
Mt Field national park, a world heritage forest in Tasmania, Australia. The UN rejected Australian government’s request to delist the site to allow logging. Photograph: Barbara Walton/EPA
Grade school students and residents look at the head of a carved Baird's Beaked whale at Wada port in Minamiboso, southeast of Tokyo June 26, 2014. To mark the start of Japan's whaling season, workers in the coastal town of Minamiboso on Thursday carved up one of the animals as a crowd of grade school students and residents watched, with free samples of its fried meat handed out later. The annual event took place in the district of Wada in the town south of the capital, Tokyo, a week into Japan's first coastal whaling season since a global court halted the country's better known Antarctic whaling in March.
A Baird’s beaked whale head is carved out and put on display for school children and local residents at Wada port in Minamiboso, Tokyo. Photograph: Issei Kato/Reuters
In this photo of  Thursday, June 19, 2014.  Kenyan Wildlife Rangers stand near the carcass of an elephant, in Tsavo East, Kenya. Environmental crime such as the poaching of elephants for ivory and the selling of illegal charcoal is helping to finance criminal, militia and terrorists groups, a report from the United Nations Environment Program released Tuesday, June 24, 2014 said. The Somali terror group al-Shabab makes between $38 million and $56 million per year in illegal charcoal, the report said. Other militia groups _ including the Lord s Resistance Army, which U.S. troops are trying to help hunt down in central Africa _ make between $4 million and $12 million a year by trafficking elephant ivory.
Wildlife rangers stand near the carcass of an elephant, in Tsavo East, Kenya. Poaching and illegal wildlife trade is funding terror groups, according to a UN report. Photograph: Khalil Senosi/AP
Undated Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust handout photo of the first hand-reared spoon-billed sandpiper, one of the world's rarest birds, which has returned to breed in Russia, wildlife experts said on June 25, 2014. The bird is one of two dozen hand-reared over the last two summers by Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) expert Roland Digby on their breeding grounds in north eastern Russia, to give them a head-start in life.
The first hand-reared spoon-billed sandpiper, one of the world’s rarest birds, has returned to breed in Russia. The bird is one of two dozen hand-reared over the past two summers by Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust expert Roland Digby on their breeding grounds in north eastern Russia, to give them a head-start in life. Photograph: PA
National Park Service Ranger Jeff Denny shows one of the eighteen cuts made on a thousand-year-old Redwood tree outside of Orick, California June 3, 2014. The largest of the cuts was six feet by three feet; cuts can put the tree at risk for disease and infection. Redwood burls are reproductive growths on the tree that can sprout clones and are highly sought after for their unique grain patterns popular in high end furniture and artwork. Recent poaching for redwood burls in the Redwood National Park and Northern California State Parks forced officials to close the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, a ten mile drive through the old growth Redwood forest, after sunset, according to the National Park Service.
A park ranger shows one of the 18 cuts made on a 1,000-year-old redwood tree outside Orick, California. Redwood burls can sprout clones and are highly sought after for their unique grain patterns in high end furniture and artwork, making the trees a target for illegal logging. Photograph: Nick Adams/Reuters
Red poppy is pictured in a meadow near Frankfurt/, Germany,  Sunday June 22, 2014. Weather forecasts predict changeable weather.
Red poppy in a meadow near Frankfurt, Germany. The harmful impact of insecticides on habitats has sparked a debate in farming circles. Photograph: Frank Rumpenhorst/AP/
An iguana lies on the bank in the Pantanal wetlands near in Pocone outside World Cup host city Cuiaba June 22, 2014. On days between World Cup games, Pantanal - the planet's largest wetlands and almost as big as Britain - draws fans from around the world who have come to the host city of Cuiaba, located in the exact geographical center of South America.
An iguana in the Pantanal wetlands, in Pocone, Brazil. Pantanal is the planet’s largest wetlands, near World Cup host city of Cuiaba, located in the exact geographical centre of South America. Photograph:
Eric Gaillard/Reuters
An urban fox in London
An urban fox in London. Photograph: Sean Smith for The Guardian
Polar bear cubs playing in the snow near Spitsbergen in the north of Norway last week (19 June).  Climate change is currently the biggest threat to the survival of Polar bears; they are now officially classed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  The photographer and tour guide explained that the start of 2014 was also much warmer than usual, resulting in ice melting at a quicker rate, making it even harder for the polar bears to feed. The Icy habitat is something which the animals depend on to hunt and breed; and the phenomenon of global warming has been well documented around Spitsbergen.     The polar bears are capable of swimming up to 100 miles to find food, however ice sheets are slowly melting farther and farther apart.  This means that some of them are swimming dangerously long distances for nothing, and polar bear populations are noticeably decreasing because of global warming.
Polar bear cubs play in the snow near Spitsbergen, north of Norway. Climate change is the biggest threat to polar bears, listed as vulunerable by the IUCN. Melting polar ice is reducing the hunting grounds of polar bears. Photograph: Paul Goldstein/Exodus/Rex Features