Exciting Results from a Camera Trap Survey!

Last fall, Wildlife Alliance rangers set 40 camera traps in northern Botum Sakor National Park and eagerly waited to see the wildlife that would pass by over the next five months. All the cameras have now been collected and the results are promising! Seven globally threatened species were documented, including greater hog badger (Vulnerable), pig-tailed macaque (Vulnerable), dhole (Endangered), sun bear (Vulnerable), clouded leopard (Vulnerable), Sunda pangolin (Critically Endangered), and Asian wollyneck (Vulnerable). The presence of so many threatened species in the area shows some evidence that the magnitude of the forest patrols and decisive law enforcement in the area have reduced the effects of snaring in comparison to the rest of the Cardamom landscape and Indochina as a whole. Although the land parcel surveyed is near a high traffic road, non-ranger human activity was only detected at 11% of the camera trap stations, compared to 32% of camera trap stations at a much more remote area of the Southern Cardamom National Park.

Greater hog badgers were the most frequently recorded threatened species, which was surprising and of particular significance due to their susceptibility to snaring. The species is rarely spotted elsewhere in Cambodia, indicating that this population has conservation significance and needs to be protected. It was also encouraging to see three threatened large predator species: clouded leopard, sun bear, and dhole. Their presence in the area, despite being near a major road and other human activity, suggests that if tenacious protection efforts continue, population recovery of these species is possible. The rarest species photographed was a critically endangered Sunda pangolin. And it wasn’t just one pangolin: it was a mother with a baby riding on her tail - a beautiful sight! All these sightings were great encouragement of the effectiveness of ranger patrols in the area in protecting wildlife and reducing snaring. To help our forest rangers continue to protect this area and others like it, visit our donation page and select the forest protection fund.

Constant Vigilance: Essential to Stopping Wildlife Trafficking

A local informant recently tipped off the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT) to a suspected wildlife trader in the outskirts of Stung Treng City. The WRRT used the information to conduct an investigation and identify the suspect. When the team raided the suspected trader’s house, they discovered a gruesome sight: a freshly killed douc langur, ten dried douc langurs, and six douc langur stomachs. Douc langurs are some of the most beautiful and rarest primates in the world. Of the three species of douc langurs, two are endangered and one is critically endangered, and all three have decreasing populations. Douc langurs continue to be targeted by poachers for their use in traditional medicine and for bushmeat, despite the fact that they are on the brink of extinction. The WRRT confiscated and destroyed the douc langur products and the trader was sent to court to face wildlife trading charges.

Days later, another informant tipped off the WRRT to illegal wildlife trading at the Stung Treng markets. Based on this information, the team raided the market and confiscated 5 live Bengal monitors, 2 live pygmy lorises, 3 dried lorises, 1 dried loris stomach, 2 live elongated tortoises, 34.5 Kg of freshly killed muntjac meat, and 83 Kg of freshly killed wild pig meat. Unfortunately, the market stalls were empty when the WRRT arrived so the offenders were not apprehended. Despite efforts to blend into the crowd, when the WRRT arrives at markets, word of their presence spreads quickly and traders abandon their stalls. Wildlife meat from this raid was later destroyed and the monitor lizards and the tortoises were released into nearby natural habitat. The two slow lorises were immediately transported to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center for a health assessment, pending possible release.

The Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team has informants throughout Cambodia who report any illegal wildlife trade they discover. The informants serve as the team’s eyes and ears all over the country and without them, wildlife trading would again be rampant and thousands less animals would be rescued. The Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team’s policies are constantly reviewed to optimize the invaluable information received through the informant network. To help the WRRT continue to stop wildlife trafficking and expand their informant network, please make a donation and select ‘End Wildlife Trafficking’ from the list of funds.

The WRRT is a Forestry Administration law enforcement unit led by the Forestry Administration, in cooperation with the Military Police, with technical and financial support from Wildlife Alliance.

Switch Off Your Lights in Solidarity for Climate Action

On Saturday, March 25 at 8:30pm local time, join us in celebrating the 11th annual Earth Hour! Millions of people around the globe will turn off their lights for one hour to put a spotlight on the need for climate action. At a time when many people are looking for a way to take action to combat climate change, this event is the perfect way to have your voice heard.

Wildlife Alliance will be participating in this event because we are committed to combating climate change through keeping rainforests intact and by promoting sustainable development in the communities where we operate. Our tropical reforestation, community agriculture development, and community-based ecotourism projects all provide communities with sustainable livelihoods, while mitigating environmentally harmful practices, such as deforestation and slash-and-burn farming. The Kouprey Express Mobile Environmental Education Unit is also critical to creating lasting changes by teaching children and community members throughout Cambodia about environmental issues that face them.

We hope you join us and millions of others around the world in showing your commitment for a sustainable future by turning off your lights for an hour and starting the conversation about climate change!

Joining Forces to Save Fishing Cats in Cambodia

Wildlife Alliance’s Kouprey Express Mobile Education Unit has partnered with the Cambodian Fishing Cat Project to raise awareness and educate villagers in the far reaches of the mangroves of Koh Kong province about fishing cats and how to protect them. Classified as Vulnerable, these cats are very rare in Cambodia and have only been seen on camera traps once in the country since 2003. Fishing cat populations are believed to be declining at an alarming rate across all range countries, but especially in Southeast Asia. They are even believed to be the most vulnerable of small and medium sized cats in Southeast Asia because there is little overlap of their wetland habitat with other protected landscapes. Fishing cats are mainly threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, but are also hunted for their meat and as retaliation for damaging fishing nets.

In February, the Kouprey Express traveled with the Fishing Cat Project to two schools in Koh Kong province, giving lessons to 147 students and 38 community members. In the workshops, students and community members were given informational posters about fishing cats (See the poster in English or Khmer), created artwork, and played educational games. Through this partnership, we hope to raise awareness of the unique fishing cat in communities in their range in order to prevent them from being killed or their habitat destroyed. Help us raise awareness of fishing cats and other animals native to Cambodia by making a donation to our environmental education and outreach program.