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The inaugural session of the COP24 climate talks in Katowice, Poland Sunday. JANEK SKARZYNSKI / AFP / Getty Images

Negotiators in the climate talks that will decide the future of the Paris agreement began meeting a day early in Katowice, Poland on Sunday as pressure builds to take meaningful global action against climate change, BBC News reported.

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A sperm whale that washed up in Indonesia's Wakatobi National Park had plastic bottles, bags and cups in its belly. @WWF_ID / Kartika Sumolang

Yet another whale has suffered from plastic pollution. A sperm whale that washed up dead in a national park in Indonesia had nearly 13 pounds of plastic waste in its stomach, park officials told the Associated Press.

Researchers from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the park's conservation academy uncovered more than 1,000 other pieces of plastic, including 115 plastic cups, four plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags, 2 flip-flops and a nylon sack.

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Black rhino. Gerry Zambonini / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Great news from China! Following intense international backlash, the Chinese government said Monday that it has postponed a regulation that would have allowed the use of tiger bone and rhino horn for medicine, research and other purposes.

In October, China alarmed animal rights activists around the world when it weakened a 25-year-old ban on the trading of the animal parts. Conservationists said it would be akin to signing a "death warrant" for endangered tiger and rhino populations.

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Mother and baby sperm whale. Wikimedia Commons

Sperm whales live in all the world's major oceans, but they tend to stay away from extremely cold waters near the poles. So you can imagine the surprise when scientists spotted a pair of these whales farther from their usual range.

World Wildlife Fund-Canada Arctic species specialist Brandon Laforest and his guide Titus Allooloo saw the whales near Pond Inlet, Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic in September, the CBC reported.

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A hippo in Okavango Delta National Park, Botswana. Buena Vista Images / Stone / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

Scientists from around the world issued a stark warning to humanity Tuesday in a semi-annual report on the Earth's declining biodiversity, which shows that about 60 percent of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles have been wiped out by human activity since 1970.

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This gibbon is named after a certain Star Wars hero. Lei Dong

October 24 marks International Gibbon Day, a global celebration of these adorable, singing and acrobatic primates. This day is also important because they are the most endangered of group of apes, according the World Wildlife Fund.

There are 20 different species of gibbons and they are endemic to the tropical and subtropical rainforests of south Asia. This includes the Hainan gibbon—the rarest primate in the world and found only on Hainan Island in China. Their numbers dipped as low as 8 in the 1980s. But through conservation efforts, there are now 27 individuals in the wild, said Wenbo Zhang, who works with Cloud Mountain Conservation, an NGO that focuses on gibbon conservation in China.

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Close-up of beluga whale swimming in water. Graham Swain / EyeEm / Getty Images

Beluga whales are normally found in icy Arctic and subarctic waters. So onlookers were undoubtedly surprised to spot one of the distinctive white whales swimming very far south in the UK's River Thames.

Ecologist and ornithologist Dave Andrews first posted footage of the unusual sighting onto Twitter on Tuesday and said the whale was feeding around the barges near the town of Gravesend in northwest Kent.


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A tiger in Dhikala, Nepal. Ranjith Kumar 2016 / CC BY-SA 4.0

Thanks to dedicated conservation efforts, Nepal now has an estimated 235 wild tigers in the country, a nearly twofold increase from its baseline of 121 individuals in 2009, the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) announced Sunday on the occasion of Nepal's National Conservation Day.

The South Asian nation is now on track to become the first country to double its tiger population as part of WWF's "TX2" goal to double the world's wild tiger population by 2022—the next year of the tiger on the Chinese zodiac.

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Antonio Busiello / WWF-US

Thanks to a series of conservation measures enacted by Belize's government, the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System—one the world's most incredible, diverse ecosystems—has been removed from the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger sites.

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Pexels

Each year, almost 1.2 billion people travel abroad, making travel and tourism one of the largest industries in the world. Representing a whopping 10 percent of the global economy, it supplies millions of jobs and benefits countless communities.

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WWF / BiancoTangerine

The Mediterranean Sea is turning into a dangerous plastic trap, with record levels of pollution from microplastics threatening marine species and human health, according to a new World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report released Friday.

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View of the UN Bonn Campus on May 16, 2017. UNclimatechange / Flickr

As the 2018 climate talks kick off under the auspices of the UN next week, "business unusual" must be the mantra delegations need heard resoundingly in Bonn, said the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Speaking ahead of the start of the meeting, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF's global climate and energy programme leader, said the window of opportunity to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C is fast closing.

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The Selous Game Reserve in the Miombo Woodlands of southeastern Tanzania. Russell Scott / Flickr

The world will see enormous losses of biodiversity across all species groups on every continent by the end of this century if we do not make deep cuts to global greenhouse emissions, according to groundbreaking research from the WWF and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change at the University of East Anglia.

For the report, the researchers examined how the world's changing climate—expressed by two important variables, temperature and precipitation—will affect nearly 80,000 species of plants, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians inhabiting the WWF's 35 Priority Places for conservation. These areas, from the Amazon to the Namibian desert, from the Himalayas to the Mediterranean, feature some of the richest biodiversity on the planet, including many endangered and endemic species.

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