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.