Driven by unsustainable levels of commercial hunting, Southeast Asia’s wildlife is facing an “extinction crisis” according to a recent article published in the journal Science, co-authored by Wildlife Alliance’s Thomas Gray. The principal hunting method used in Southeast Asia is cheap, homemade wire snares. These snares are made out of materials such as bicycle brake cables. An individual hunter can set as many as 500 in a day. Snares are particularly harmful to biodiversity because they indiscriminately trap any species, including those that are endangered. Poachers and hunters who set these traps are rarely caught in the act because the snare can be left for days before hunters return to check their traps. Wildlife Alliance’s rangers continue to confiscate an increasing number of snares each year (from 14,634 in 2010 to 27,714 in 2015), but the number of set snares also continues to increase due to their low cost and low risk nature. The only way to stop this crisis is to increase penalties for individuals who possess snares and snare materials in protected forests.
Photo by Jeremy Holden