Wildlife Alliance

Wildlife Alliance is the leader in direct protection to forests and wildlife in the Southeast Asian tropical belt. Our mission is to combat deforestation, extinction, climate change, and poverty by partnering with local communities and governments.
Feb 28, 2012

Wildlife Programs Annual Report 2011

Read the attached annual report to see all the amazing achievements by our animal husbandry specialists and wildlife rescue team this year as they work tirelessly to rescue, protect, and care for Cambodia's vulnerable and endangered wildlife.  2011 saw many successes - a new prosthesis for Chhouk, our male adolescent elephant missing a leg, countless births and updated enclosures, and over 4,500 life animals rescued from the wildlife trade.  We also had some setbacks like the outbreak of avian flu over the summer and the death of Sambo, a rogue bull elephant we had rescued.  We are looking forward, as always, to our new projects for 2012 including building a baby nursery, improving the enclosure for Pursat, the only hairy-nosed otter currently living in captivity, and initiating a conservation breeding program for the endangered Indochinese Tiger.  We are grateful for everyone's support and look forward to hearing from you in this new year!


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Feb 28, 2012

An Interview with Chi Phat Deputy Chief

Marnet (right) and her sister
Marnet (right) and her sister

In November, two members of the Chi Phat CBET Committee were able to travel to Japan to attend a training for young leaders in the tourism industry in Cambodia.  The Japan International Cooperation Agency provides aid and support to promote economic and social development in developing countries.  Thanks in part to support from Transat and JICA, CBET Deputy Chief, Ms. Min Marnet was able to participate in the JICA training and learn new strategies for improving operations back in Chi Phat.  She came back with ideas on how to improve the existing waste management system as well as the development of traditional handicraft enterprises in the village.  It’s truly amazing to think how becoming a member of the CBET has transformed her life in only a few short years.

Before joining CBET, Marnet was a student who often had to skip school in order to help her parents harvest rice at their small farm or to collect fruit from the jungle.  Her family’s income was $20 per month.  Marnet chose to become involved with the CBET because the income her family made on rice farming was not enough.  She was unable to continue her studies because she needed to work to help her family.  Starting as a mountain bike guide and working her way to CBET Committee Deputy Chief, she now averages $120 per month on her own.  Marnet explains, “The CBET controls the forest and wildlife.  With my CBET income, I don’t need to go into the forest anymore to collect fruit.  I bring more income to the family which means my parents do not need to continue illegal slash-and-burn farming, but have enough income with their small paddy field.”  She also recognizes what CBET does for her community at large: “CBET develops the village; it helps people have jobs and get more income; it protects natural resources.  Without trees around Chi Phat, the weather will just get hotter and hotter.”  Best of all, working at the CBET has provided her opportunities she never would have had otherwise.  It allows her to practice English and work to fulfill her dream of one day attending university.  It has already allowed her the opportunity to travel to a foreign country.  And through this fantastic opportunity, she has been able to increase her knowledge and training and improve the CBET for its visitors and for Chi Phat community members.

Feb 23, 2012

Elephant Comes Out on the Road

As we have reported previously on our website, elephants have increasingly been wandering out of the jungle onto roads and villages as the forest shrinks around them.  Since October, the number of human-elephant encounters has risen dramatically and it has now become an almost daily responsibility for our forest patrol teams to follow-up on reports of elephant sightings and protect both the elephants and villagers in the area.

On January 6, 2012, the station supervisor at the Stung Proat Station received a phone call from a hunter from Chi Phat that a large male elephant was on the sugar cane plantation road and that he had been forced to seek refuge high in a tree.  The patrollers arrived on the scene and helped the man down and sent him on his way while keeping the elephant, who was actually very calm and docile, at bay.

For the next 11 days, it was necessary for the rangers to do crowd control on the road as the elephant continued to appear there each afternoon and stay until sunrise the next morning.  For the first 9 days, the situation was very tense as workers driving past in trucks would throw things or shout at the elephant which would irritate him and cause him charge after the trucks.  Nothing seemed to scare him off, not fire or gun shots, and the elephant remained on the road.

By the 10th day, when the elephant appeared again, he seemed exhausted and was missing a piece of his left tusk.  He became even more aggressive with passing workers.  When several workers came directly at him with tractors, it appeared the situation had become untenable.  In response, CEO Suwanna Gauntlett was called in to reach out the general manager of the sugar plantation and ask for urgent intervention with his workers.  After negotiations with the GM, the workers calmed down but did not entirely stop provoking the elephant.

When the patrol team returned to the road again on Day 12, the elephant did not return and he has not returned since.  Footprints have been spotted further into the forest and at this point it is assumed that he has found another, more densely forested spot to spend his days.  However, we continue to investigate further.

Elephants have not been seen in the open for the last 10 years, despite confirmations through footprints and dung that a population of around 200 individuals exists in the forest.  While poaching has been under control since 2002 due to the direct action of Wildlife Alliance, deforestation continues to be a challenge to the lives of these elephants.  Today, the southern tip of the elephant corridor is being aggressively cleared, pushing elephants out of the forest and causing this increase in elephant sightings.

We have had to adapt quickly to insure the safety of the elephants.  Without constant intervention by our forest rangers, it’s hard to say what will happen during these human-elephant encounters.  And without your help, we can’t guarantee that our rangers will always be available to intercede during these tense situations.  Our patrol teams are already stretched thin as they combat wildlife poaching and illegal logging throughout the forest area.  The forest in the Southern Cardamoms exists solely because of the protection provided by Wildlife Alliance and we are able to do that only with your support.

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