Japan told to halt Antarctic whaling by international court

The International Court of Justice has ordered a temporary halt to Japan’s annual slaughter of whales in the southern ocean after concluding that the hunts are not, as Japan claims, conducted for scientific research.

The UN court’s decision, by a 12-4 majority among a panel of judges, casts serious doubt over the long-term future of the jewel in the crown of Japan’s controversial whaling programme. Read more

Pictured: Three dead minke whales lie on the deck of the Japanese whaling vessel Nisshin Maru, in the Southern Ocean. Photograph: Tim Watters/AP

Photo highlights of the day: A glass frog on a skeletonized, caterpillar-eaten, piper leaf in a cloud forest in Costa Rica. This stunning image was taken by wildlife photographer Gregory Basco who shot it at night in the rainforest. Gregory Basco/Caters

A pair of young polar bears play with one another in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. See more of the day’s best pictures.

Photograph: Steven Kazlowski/Barcroft Medi/Barcroft Media 

Wildlife on your doorstep - December. Show us what’s changing for wildlife where you live. Have you got red-breasted robins, or are temperatures rising? Submit your photos via GuardianWitness

Credit: Gwyn Lockett / GuardianWitness

Wildlife on your doorstep. November brings glorious displays of autumn leaves in some parts of the world, and soaring temperatures and bright blue skies in others.

We want to see what’s changing for the wildlife where you live - submit your contribution via GuardianWitness

1. Deer grazing a short distance from the front entrance of The Earl Of Leicester’s front door, Holkham Hall. Photograph: TimGill/GuardianWitness

2. Six seven-spot ladybirds huddled into a crack on a fence post for the winter. Photograph: PhilGates/GuardianWitness

3. Winter robin. Photograph: Thomas Taylor/GuardianWitness 

As the UN pressures Australia to better protect the Great Barrier Reef, here are some images of the spectacular wildlife harboured by this vast stretch of coral. From a manta ray cruising over a shipwreck to the effervescent ribbon eel, it’s a reminder of what is at stake.

Photograph: Reinhard Dirscherl/Corbis

White lion breeding at UK wildlife parks linked to ‘canned hunting’.

They are a rare and beautiful variant of an ordinary lion, a big cat with a recessive gene that gives it striking white fur. But two British wildlife parks have been accused of unethical practices for breeding white lions taken from a farm linked to “canned hunting” in South Africa and allowing cubs to be petted for £250 a time.

Photograph: Rhian Grey/Paradise Wildlife Park

Eastern Screech owlets in a tree in Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia, US. From picture desk live: the day’s best news images

Photograph: Graham McGeorge/Barcroft Media


Pronghorns range over a vast area, from Canada to northern Mexico, seen here on their annual migration, the only time the males and females come together in a mixed-sex herd. From our gallery: Discovery Channel’s North America

Photograph: Discovery Channel


A Dormouse appears to be laughing as it sits on top of a yarrow flower. The amusing photograph, taken by Italian photographer Andrea Zampatti, in Italy, shows how the heat had a strange effect on this little critter. Photograph: Andrea Zampatti/HotSpot Media