Construction of a new ranger station was recently completed in Chhay Areng and it has been fully operational for three months. This is our first ranger station in the north and it is in an extremely remote area of the Southern Cardamom rainforest. Because it is so remote, people in this region are not used to their activities, such as illegal logging, forest clearing, and wildlife poaching being regulated. Prior to the new ranger station opening, our rangers positioned to the south were only able to patrol the region about once a month. With the Chhay Areng Station open and fully operational, we are expecting to see a decline in illegal activities and positive changes to the health of the wildlife populations and the forest.
This area of Southeast Asia is rich in biodiversity but, unfortunately, many of the species are under threat and are at least threatened of extinction, according to the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species. One of the biggest threats and a main driver of extinction in the area is the abundant use of snare hunting. These homemade devices cruelly and indiscriminately maim or kill any individual that crosses it. Because these traps do not target specific animals, many endangered species get trapped, further pushing populations to extinction. Due to the previous lack of control in the northern region there are still unimaginable numbers of snare traps set in the forests just waiting for the next innocent animal to pass by. Fortunately, now that we have a ranger station functioning in the region we have the manpower to search for and confiscate the snares. Unsustainable levels of snaring are currently driving an extinction crisis in Southeast Asia. In the Southern Cardamom National Park, the number of snares removed by Wildlife Alliance rangers nearly doubled in just five years, from 14,364 in 2010 to 27,714 in 2015. Because snares are cheap to make and require little effort to be effective, they are far more dangerous and devastating to wildlife populations than if everyone in the region were given a gun. Please donate to our “Stop the Wildlife Snaring Crisis in Asia’s Forests” to help our rangers eradicate snares in these lush forests.