World Unites to Approve a Ban on the International Trade of Pangolins!

At this year’s conference, delegates of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) voted to list all eight species of pangolin under Appendix I, giving them the highest level of protection available.  Appendix I is reserved for “the most endangered” species and prohibits the international trade of those listed.  The decision to move pangolins to Appendix I comes after years of declining populations of both Asian and African pangolins.  Regarded as the most trafficked mammal in the world, pangolins are highly sought-after in China and Vietnam, where some believe the animal’s scales and meat have medicinal qualities.

The Sunda pangolin, found in Cambodia and other parts of Southeast Asia is classified as critically endangered.  Although these animals are rare and elusive, our teams have rescued three in the last few months.  In the past, the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT) frequently rescued pangolins from traders, but their dwindling populations have led to fewer finds, making each rescue more valuable.  This new protection for pangolins will deter poachers and allow our law enforcement units to enforce stricter penalties and punishments.  These efforts, coupled with our forest protection program, and our rescue and release operations is giving hope to pangolin populations in the Southern Cardamoms. 

Make a donation or sponsor our rescued pangolin, Lucy, who is unable to be released due to severe injuries from a poacher’s snare.  Your gifts allow us to protect remaining wild pangolin populations, rescue helpless animals, arrest traders and provide vital care to every animal that has been a victim of this insidious trade.  Although this new status will give pangolins increased legal protection, unless we continue to provide critical on the ground support, we will not be able to save them from extinction.        

Sia and Survivor Finalist Support Wildlife Alliance

©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

On the finale of Season 32 of Survivor, singer/songwriter, Sia, crashed the show to tell her favorite contestant, Tai Trang, that she will donate $50,000 to an animal charity of his choice.  That charity turned out to be Wildlife Alliance! 

The chart-topping singer announced she was going to give Tai the money to donate during the Season Finale Reunion episode, and thanked him for, “showing America how to be kind to animals.”  An animal rights activist herself, Sia was moved by Tai’s respect for all living things. 

Tai Trang, the fan favorite of the season, chose to donate $40,000 to Wildlife Alliance after he and two other contestants won a tour to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center as a prize on the show.  During the episode, Wildlife Alliance’s Wildlife Programs Director, Nick Marx, introduced the contestants to Lucky the elephant, and explained that the animals at the center were all rescued from the illegal wildlife trade.  Wildlife trafficking is estimated to be worth $20 billion annually, making it one of the most lucrative black market trades in the world.  While Tai was moved by the stories of the rescued animals, no one could have foreseen that his compassion would result in Sia donating to help save countless animals from the grips of poachers.

Wildlife Alliance (WA) has been working in Cambodia since 2000, providing direct protection to forests and wildlife.  WA’s mission is to combat deforestation, wildlife extinction, climate change, and poverty by partnering with local communities and governments.  To date, Wildlife Alliance has preserved more than 2 million acres of forest, overturned 36 industrial land concessions, rescued over 62,000 animals from the illegal wildlife trade and delivered environmental education to more than 200,000 students, teachers and community members.

Join Sia and Tai in making a difference for rescued animals by making a gift to our Care for Rescued Wildlife Program! 

Illegally Cut Timber Seized in One of the World’s Most Threatened Forests

On September 16, 2016, Wildlife Alliance rangers successfully carried out a major illegal logging bust and seized large amounts of timber.  After a week-long struggle to obtain a search warrant from Kompong Speu provincial authorities, our rangers successfully located and confiscated 89 pieces (24 cubic meters) of timber, resulting from the destruction of about 75 illegally harvested trees.  The illegally cut wood was found just 500 meters from a private sawmill.  The confiscated timber was transported to the local Forestry Administration as evidence to apprehend the loggers.

The Cardamom Mountains continue to be a hotspot for illegal logging activities. Thus, deforestation continues at an unprecedented rate in the area.  To combat this crisis, Wildlife Alliance provides direct on-the-ground protection through six ranger stations.  On their daily patrols, the Southern Cardamom Forest Protection Program stops forest clearings, timber cutting, and wildlife poaching.  In 2015, our rangers confiscated 240 m3 of timber, removed 473 illegal logging campsites, and seized 450 chainsaws.

Keeping the Southern Cardamom rainforest intact is crucial because it is part of the Indo-Burma Peninsula in Southeast Asia, one of the most threatened rainforests in the world.  With an original habitat encompassing 237,300,000 hectares, only 5% of the Indo-Burma forest remains today and Cambodia represents almost 20% of this remaining rainforest. 

 Saving one of the most threatened rainforests in the world remains a constant battle and if we stop fighting, we will lose the war.  Help us continue to provide the best on-the-ground protection in the region by supporting the Southern Cardamom Forest Protection Program.

Wildlife Alliance CEO, Suwanna Gauntlett, Key Note Speaker at Animal Rescue Event

On Saturday, November 12, Wildlife Alliance founder and CEO, Suwanna Gauntlett, will be speaking at the Four Pillars Productions ‘Rescue Me!’ event in Toronto, Canada.  Suwanna will be speaking about wildlife trafficking and the daily perils of ending the trade.  The one day animal fundraising event will raise awareness and discuss issues related to “rescuing” domestic, farm, wild and marine animals. In addition to speeches from high profile animal rescuers, the event will also feature a silent auction, as well as photography, poetry and art displays.  Event attendees will also receive an animal print, autographed by Suwanna or one of the other speakers at the event. 

If you are near Toronto and would like hear stories from Wildlife Alliance’s founder, you can purchase tickets here.  Proceeds raised from this event will be donated to Wildlife Alliance and the other animal foundations featured at the event.