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.
Nov 6, 2014

Rangers Rescue Baby Pangolin

Rangers with Rescued Baby Pangolin
Rangers with Rescued Baby Pangolin

On October 17th, a unit from the Tatai Ranger station was heading back from a long patrol when they suddenly noticed fresh footprints on the trail. The team followed the tracks into the forest for a short while before they spotted a hunter’s camp ahead. One of the hunters must have heard the rangers coming, because the camp was abandoned when the rangers got there. Upon arrival, the team searched the campsite and found 38 snares and a small bag containing a live baby Sunda pangolin. The team quickly dismantled the camp, confiscated the snares and took the baby pangolin with them to the station. Knowing the young pangolin wouldn’t be able to survive on its own, it was transferred to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center, where it will be provided with round-the-clock care.

The illegal trade in pangolins has reached epic proportions, and these once common animals are now classified as Critically Endangered. They are rarely observed in the wild due to their secretive and solitary habits. Slow moving and lacking teeth, their primary defense is curling up into a ball, making them easy targets for poachers. Pangolins are hunted intensely for their meat and scales, and are also used in traditional medicine and as fashion accessories. To stop this illicit trade from decimating pangolin populations in Cambodia, rangers work day and night, risking their lives to protect nearly 2 million acres of rainforest. Last year alone, they removed 15,440 snares and nets and rescued 448 animals. These rangers are on the frontlines of conservation, and $3,500 will help them rescue more pangolins, conduct vehicle checkpoints, remove traps and stop poachers. Thank you for your continued support, we have 63 days to raise $1,957, and need your help to reach our goal and prevent this shy and gentle species from disappearing forever!

Baby Pangolin Found at the Camp
Baby Pangolin Found at the Camp
Rangers Dismantled the Abandoned Hunters Camp
Rangers Dismantled the Abandoned Hunters Camp
Full-time care at PTWRC - photo cred. Julie Vesta
Full-time care at PTWRC - photo cred. Julie Vesta
Nov 4, 2014

Thank You for Helping us Stop Bear Trafficking

The WRRT providing emergency care for rescued cubs
The WRRT providing emergency care for rescued cubs

We would like to extend a special thank you to all the amazing donors that helped fund our campaign to stop bear trafficking in Cambodia. Since reaching our goal, there have been several new developments that have made this project even more important. We would also like to share with you some recent successes that demonstrate that your gift is not only being put to good use, but is actually saving lives.

This year, the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team has already rescued 9 bears, 4 of which were rescued in just the last three months. In August, an Asiatic black bear cub was rescued from the apartment of a wealthy Chinese businessman. The team received information about the bear on our 24-hour hotline from a concerned Cambodian citizen that noticed the cub trying to escape. The WRRT moved in quickly to surround the offender’s home to ensure the offender didn’t escape while a search warrant was being obtained from the Phnom Penh Courthouse. When the team went in, they found the bear in poor condition and it was immediately taken to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center (PTWRC) where it is being cared for by Free the Bears. Later in the month, the WRRT received information about two sun bear cubs that were found abandoned by their mother after local hunters and their dogs had disturbed her. Volunteers from the Por Koa Conservation organization took the bears from the hunters and handed them over to the WRRT. The extremely young cubs were provided with continual care and food until they were delivered to PTWRC the next day. And in October, the WRRT rescued another sun bear cub believed to be only around 4 months old. The significant number of rescues is a testament to the effectiveness of the WRRT’s outreach efforts and informant network. Our anti-trafficking campaign utilizes billboards and public service announcements to effectively educate the public about the illegality of wildlife trafficking and the steps they can take to help end this brutal practice – like calling our Wildlife Rescue Hotline. Little can be accomplished without assistance from local communities, and it is vital for the WRRT to continue to increase awareness and expand its informant network.

Another major development was the release of a new report by TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network, which highlighted the urgency for immediate action to stop the international illegal bear trade. The report analyzed hundreds of seizures over a 12-year period amongst 17 Asian countries and revealed that the majority of seizures took place in Cambodia. With triple the seizure rates of other countries, Cambodia is leading the fight to end illegal bear trafficking. The report called out Wildlife Alliance’s Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT) as the leading example in anti-wildlife trafficking law enforcement. As the report noted “this high level of sustained enforcement and efficacious seizure […] is most likely attributable to the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team, […] responsible for apprehending and reporting 93% of bear seizures within Cambodia… Furthermore, a number of significant busts that have been made by police and Forestry Administration officials were catalyzed by the WRRT.” The success of the WRRT and Wildlife Alliance is born out of a well-balanced strategy that combines government partnership with law enforcement, trainings for customs officials and provincial authorities, informant networks, cross-border and regional cooperation, and public awareness campaigns. Since 2001, the WRRT has rescued over 60,000 live animals and over 30 tons of wildlife products. Nick Marx, Director of Wildlife Programs at Wildlife Alliance stated, “The WRRT is essential if we are to put an end to wildlife trafficking in Cambodia. The system we have put in place has enabled many successes thus far but we are consistently evolving and adapting our methodology as the criminal networks become more sophisticated. It is clear that the demand for exotic wildlife products is not coming to an end. Therefore governments and other NGOs need to increase their efforts and implement immediate action to disrupt the supply chain.” You can read the full report by TRAFFIC here.

Thank you again for your kindness and generosity, your gift has been vital for helping us drive down bear trafficking in Cambodia and we hope you’ll continue to help us make a difference by supporting our latest campaign to Save the Most Trafficked Mammal in the World – the pangolin. The pangolin is a scaly mammal that eats ants and termites, hides in dense forest, and rolls into a tiny ball when scared. Hunted for their meat and scales, more than one million individuals are believed to have been trafficked in the past decade. Learn more about pangolins and how you can help the Southern Cardamom Forest Protection program tackle this escalating crisis here.

Bear cub rescued from Chinese businessman
Bear cub rescued from Chinese businessman
Sun bear cubs found by local hunters
Sun bear cubs found by local hunters
Meet the pangolin!
Meet the pangolin!

Links:

Oct 28, 2014

Reforestation Changed the Life of this Cambodian Woman

Sao joined the project in 2008
Sao joined the project in 2008

“Despite the difficult work, seeing trees grow makes me happy,” declared Sao, a shy 24-year-old woman who has been working at Wildlife Alliance’s Tropical Reforestation Project in Chi Phat since its inception in 2008. Over the years, Sao has dedicated her life to reconnecting fragmented forests in the Southern Cardamom Mountain Range. She knows the painstaking process that goes into the planting and nurturing of a seed into maturity. She understands from first-hand experience that it is not enough to just plant a seed. A great deal of work and care is required for each seedling to survive, and once planted, must be continually maintained and protected. It pains her to see the prolific illegal logging that plagues the region, “I’ve been working at the project for over five years now, and I have come to thoroughly understand what it really takes to bring back trees lost to deforestation.”

Sao says she feels lucky to be working at Wildlife Alliance’s Reforestation Project. She cares deeply about her work, and has helped grow and maintain over 733,000 trees on 1,811 acres of reforested land. She believes that work at the Project has completely changed the course of her life. With no education, and as a young, unmarried woman in rural Cambodia, Sao had very few opportunities available to her. However, her steady income has lifted her out of poverty and is helping her realize her dream of one day opening a small grocery store in Chi Phat. Her life changed even more drastically in 2011 when she married her friend and coworker Vuthu. The couple plans to build a house together in Chi Phat and start a family soon.

Wildlife Alliance’s Tropical Reforestation Project in the Southern Cardamom Mountains employs 114 community members, providing them with a steady income and an alternative to slash-and-burn farming. Help us continue to not only restore the Southern Cardamom Mountains, but also make a difference in the lives of community members like Sao by making a gift today!

Sao has helped the project plant 733,000 trees
Sao has helped the project plant 733,000 trees

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