Species in ‘dramatic decline’ in east: WWF

Banteng, a species of wild cattle found in Cambodia, graze on forest foliage in the Kingdom’s Eastern Plains in 2010. WWF

Igor Kossov, The Phnom Penh Post
Wed, 8 June 2016

Multiple animal species are in “dramatic decline” on Cambodia’s Eastern Plains as a result of habitat loss, road incursion, insufficient law enforcement and poaching, the World Wildlife Fund said in a statement yesterday.

“Camera traps and other scientific research show a big loss of wild animals over the last years,” the statement said.

At a workshop held yesterday in Mondulkiri, the WWF told national, provincial, district and community authorities that a stronger emphasis on law enforcement was necessary.

“We are still facing immense problems to combat biodiversity loss,” WWF’s Eastern Plains manager Moul Phath said in the statement.

The Eastern Plains cover most of Mondulkiri and parts of its neighbouring provinces. The WWF could not be reached yesterday to provide exact figures of animal loss or which species are the most threatened.

Wildlife Conservation Society country director Ross Sinclair yesterday said the species in decline included wild pigs and bantengs. But, he added, since snares were the preferred poaching method across the country, many animals and birds fell victim. (more…)

Posted on: June 7, 2016 8:41 pm

Villagers’ attempts to save banteng fruitless

A banteng, an endangered species of bovine, stands in a Kampong Speu forest after its right hind leg was snared in a trap last week. Photo supplied

Phak Seangly, The Phnom Penh Post
Thu, 10 March 2016

A banteng injured by a snare in Mondulkiri died on Tuesday despite the local community’s attempts to save it, according to a local community leader.

Rangers from Trapang Kreunh village in Bram Beymom commune found the endangered species of wild cattle with string from the broken nylon trap still attached to its nearly severed leg last Saturday, community forest chief Soeun Lay said.

Fearing the hunters would return, about 20 villagers monitored the animal until Monday when it collapsed, Lay said“We managed to catch it and took it more than 20km away on a mini tractor to our village.”Lay said the villagers called a vet but the animal died in the meantime.

The community and local authority agreed to sell the dead banteng for $300, which would be used to build a community outpost, he addedSarah Brook, a technical adviser with the Wildlife Conservation Society, said Cambodia had one of the most important banteng populations in the world, as they have largely disappeared in neighbouring countries.

In a separate case, a gaur was shot by border soldiers, said rangers in Mondulkiri’s Koh Nhek district, who found the recently killed remains of the native bison yesterday.

A complaint was being prepared against the suspects – four border soldiers and a villager spotted drying the meat and head from the animal, said World Wildlife Fund Cambodia spokesman Un Chakrey.

Additional reporting by Igor Kossov

Posted on: March 9, 2016 8:30 pm